A bill to establish the National Council of Christian Education has been rejected by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, arguing that the proposed law violates Sections 10 and 42(3) of Nigeria’s Constitution.
The bishops tasked the Christian Association of Nigeria, which originally pushed for the bill at the National Assembly, to promote legislation that decisively addresses unprovoked attacks on Christians in the North, among others, rather than promoting a bill that violates the secular character of Nigeria.
The CBCN rejected the bill in a statement by its President, Archbishop Lucius Ugorji, and Secretary, Bishop Donatus Ogu.
The bill, which seeks to develop, regulate, and approve syllabuses and contents at all levels of Christian education, was sponsored by Hon. Rimamde Kwewum, Hon. Beni Lar, Hon. Yusuf Tajudeen, Hon. John Dyegh, Hon. Solomon Bob, and Hon. Benjamin Mzondu.
The statement said the bill, among others, was designed to certify Christian religion education instructors at basic and secondary levels, approve the content of all Christian Religion Education in all schools, and accredit programs of Christian theological institutions.
The Catholic bishops lamented that the bill made no exemption for seminaries and other religious institutes owned by the various Christian denominations across the federation, claiming that it infringed on their rights to provide instructions and formation according to their respective doctrines, citing Section 42 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.