By: Rev. Fr. Gabriel Okonkwo C.S.Sp.
Nigerian government and lies. They have lied again. The way Nigerian government behaves is like a thief who wants to steal a fowl. He approaches the fowl gradually, watching with sides of his eyes if anyone is looking. If eventually someone shouts, “Who is doing that?”, he will stand pretending as if he is just making the fowl give way. If he already has the fowl in his hand, he will tell you that the fowl just flew up and perched on his hand, that he is not trying to steal it.
This is exactly what this Nigerian federal government is doing now with regards to the accusations that they have removed CRK as a distinct subject and merged it with Civic education while Islamic and Arabic studies are left intact as distinct subjects. They are a bunch of liars.
My cousin in Asaba came back from school sometime last year and told me that they were told that if any of them wanted to read law or any of such courses in the University, the person MUST choose Islamic and Arabic studies as subjects in secondary School.
I asked him about CRK. He said that they were told that CRK would no longer be studied. I boiled with anger. If anyone doubts this story, go to Asaba and make research on it. Now that the issue has come up, Nigerian government is denying. Now simple evidence, let them produce CRK question paper in the last Junior WAEC let Nigerians see.
CRK appears only as questions in one of subjects and not as “Christian Religious Knowledge” exam paper. What they are doing is that they want to make CRK part of Civic education so that when you talk they will say no, CRK is not removed. Gradually it will disappear even from the Civic education.
We Christians want to see, and we insist on it, that CRK is returned pure and untainted as a distinct subject as it used to be. Just as they left Islamic and Arabic studies, CRK should be left intact with qualified teachers should be employed to handle it.
If they are teaching Islamic and Arabic history, cultures and tradition, Christian history, cultures and tradition should also be taught. Or does someone think that Christianity doesn’t have all these? If they remove CRK from school curriculum in primary and secondary schools, very soon CRK as a course of study will disappear in our universities.
I seriously blame our Christian leaders who are lukewarm about defending what they profess. They are like shepherds who are not interested in what happens to the sheep. They eat chicken, drink tea and sleep in the comfort of their water beds. They think only of their overflowing pockets. Some of them thinking only about the tithes members will pay, thinking about their religious business empires. I think some of them need to be pushed out and replaced with those who are ready to work.
Whenever anything pertaining to religion comes up, see the enthusiasm with which Muslims come out. Our leaders will not even open their mouths. Other ministers will be busy preaching breakthrough. Our leaders will not talk about political issues, advising followers how to choose whom to vote for.
They will tell you church is not for politics while they go back to the church and play internal, dangerous worthless politics. If our Christian leaders were serious, the political structure of this country would have been different.
This is a Clarion call on our bishops, church founders and ministers and the entire Christian faithfuls to compel the federal ministry of education to return CRK completely as a distinct subject to primary and secondary school curriculum. Seasoned Christian Religious scholars should be charged with the responsibility of drawing up topics that will be contained there in. Anything less than this should be protested against.