In the statement below, sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the spokesperson for Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, the state explains the rationale for its ongoing school reforms. It says the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, “will sooner than later discover it is being misinformed, misled by desperate politicians” to oppose the reform.
Read full statement below.
“We in Osun are not interested in joining issues with CAN either at the National or state level because we are convinced that in the final analysis, CAN will come back to salute the courage of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration to give Osun and indeed, Nigeria, one of the best solutions to salvage the nation’s rotten educational standard.
“We are consoled by the fact that no Nigerian, no matter how uninformed he is, is happy with the state of education at all levels. This is the trend Osun is striving to arrest.
“We must however remind CAN that the so-called DSS report which it is referring to never existed. It only existed in the imagination of those who concocted it at that time to fit into their agenda at that time to throw Osun into confusion. The agency which the detractors claimed authored the report disowned it. CAN should have helped Nigerians by pointing to where the Directorate of State Security ever came out to confirm ever preparing any report that indicted Aregbesola.
“For CAN to make reference to that imaginary report, more than a year after, is an indication that those working against the interest of the people of Osun and this administration have exhausted their arguments and are now clinging to just anything to sustain their campaigns of calumny.
“It is for the same reason we believe that CAN would want to demonise the Sukuk bond, another financial instrument to accelerate development in the state. The Sukuk bond is a veritable avenue to assess capital to develop our state. In name, it only sounds Islamic but it has all the conventional bond characteristics and is coordinated by the regular capital and money market investors who are people of all faiths, including Christians who are members of CAN.
“We are convinced that the leadership of CAN should rather bother about the use to which the bond will be put rather than the nomenclature and the seeming Islamic outlook of it.
Are the beautiful schools of the highest standards now emerging in OSUN not sources of joy to pupils, parents and other stakeholders? Are the schools reserved for pupils who are of any particular faiths? The answers are no!
“We must also add that nothing happens in OSUN without being a product of a well thought out plan. The declaration of Isese Day is in line with democratic tenet which provides choices for all to practice their faith without any hindrance. Can we be so hypocritical to the point of denying the existence of those who subscribe to these beliefs? Aregbesola does not hide his religious inclination as a Muslim but he also has the responsibility to protect the rights of people of other faiths.
“This is part of the essence of his oath to defend and be fair and just to all constituents.
“Once again, we seek the understanding of all, CAN inclusive, to look at the merits of the ongoing reforms which are already putting joy in the minds of the innocent young ones who are more than ever before assured of a better future.
“We are sure that the body of Christians can never wish to stand in the way of reforms which bring progress. Only desperate politicians would seek to halt development if that is what it requires to get power. Our Christian leaders cannot afford the label of being tools in the hands of political warlords who would rather prevent reforms and progress if it serves their selfish political ends.”
Bureau of Communications and Strategy
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