Following intense backlash, the authorities of the Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua University in Katsina State have cancelled the order the dean of student affairs placing a blanket ban on all Christian student associations and fellowships and those that are non-Muslim.
An internal memo dated January 17, 2017 from the university, signed by the acting dean of student affairs, Dr. Sulaiman Sani Kankara, said that the only religious association allowed to operate in the university is Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, MSSN.
This order excluded all the Christian fellowships and associations for students that operate in Nigerian universities.
After our newspaper broke the news of this unconstitutional action by the state-owned institution, the university has responded with a statement disowning Dr. Kankara and his obnoxious order.
“The attention of the Management of Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina has been drawn to the circulation of the contents of an erroneous internal memo addressed to all its Students signed by the Ag. Dean, Student Affairs,” the university said in a statement to The Trent on Monday, January 23, 2017.
“The University wishes to restate its respects and recognition to the rights to association and freedom of religious activities by all, as enshrined in the Nigerian laws.
“The University avails all its members equal opportunity on all matters.
“In the light of the above, the Management wishes to unequivocally reassure all concerned that both Muslim and Christian Students Associations are recognised in the University.
“Similarly, Management calls on all to disregard the contents of the erroneous memo. The proper decisions of the University Management Committee would be communicated to the University Community in due course.
“The University Management shall continue to promote all lawful activities aimed at peace by all (Muslims and Christians) towards the overall development of the State, Country and University,” the statement, signed by Fatima S. Kaita on behalf of the registrar of the university, said.
Dr. Kankara had unsuccessfully tried to defend his “erroneous” order be saying there were no Christian student associations in the school and that the school’s management had agreed that there would be only one religion organisation for Christians and one for Muslims.
The dean’s order was unconstitutional because it tramples on the religious freedom of some of the students. It is one more manifestation of the Islamisation plot which has been intensified by way of religious intolerance since President Muhammadu Buhari, a sworn jihadist, came to office in May 2015.
The order also violates the fundamental human rights of ethnic groups and other socio-political groups to meet and associate. It also violates the rights of minority Muslim sects to also assemble and worship freely.
See the original order below: