By Henry Okonkwo
An Islamic group, Muslim Rights Concern, has condemned the Akwa Ibom State Government over a directive asking all Junior Secondary School 2 and Senior Secondary School 2 students in the state to return to their various schools on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, for their ongoing promotion exams.
The Islamic organisation slammed the state government for asking students to continue with their promotion examination despite a declaration of public holidays by the Federal Government.
MURIC’s Director, Prof Ishaq Akintola, stated that the directive by the state government was an ‘impunity’ against the declaration of Tuesday and Wednesday as public holidays by the Federal Government following Sallah festivities across the country.
The group described the decision by the Akwa Ibom State Government as ‘arrogant’, ‘insensitive’ and ‘intolerant’ to the small community of Muslim residents in the state.
Akintola said, “Our attention has been drawn to an announcement made by the Ministry of Education in Akwa Ibom State to the effect that the ongoing SSII promotion examinations will continue today, Tuesday, 20th July 2021 despite the public holiday declared by the Federal Government.
“A brief statement issued by the Ministry of Education, Akwa Ibom State, reads, ‘Please note that the JSS2 promotion exams will continue on Tuesday despite the public holidays. SS2 students, parents and principals of schools should adhere strictly. Thanks. All senior secondary two (SS2) and junior secondary three (JSS3) students are expected to be in school on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, to continue their examinations. For management.’
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“We are shocked to our marrows at the level of acrobatic religiosity which some state governments are manifesting towards Muslims. The government of Akwa Ibom State is fully aware that there is a remarkable percentage of the Muslim population made up of both indigenes and non-indigenes in the state. The children of these Muslims are in Akwa Ibom schools.
“The fact that the state’s Ministry of Education ignored these people and insisted on continuing examinations on Salah days prove that it is not prepared to coexist with any other religion.
“It is also impunity of the highest order for the state government to ignore the declaration of today and tomorrow by the Federal Government as public holidays and to insist on holding examinations on public holidays. This is Bohemian, arrogant, insensitive acondemnn intolerant.
“We strongly the state government’s decision to hold examinations during a Muslim festival and on a public holiday. We wonder what the reactions and comments will be if a core Northern state should do something similar on Christmas Day.”