* Worries about fate of Christians should Buhari get second term

Paul Obi in Abuja

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Thursday called for the cancellation of the Nigerian Police recruitment examination conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) where Arabic Language was part of the subjects listed in the examination.

CAN argued that the inclusion of Arabic Language created confusion among Christian students and has the potential of affecting their overall performance in the examination.

According to the CAN President, Rev. Sampson Supo Ayokunle, “The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is disappointed at the incessant insensitivity of the federal government to the clarion calls being made by all right thinking Nigerians to stop playing religious kite at the expense of peace and unity of the country.

“CAN has severally called on President Muhammadu Buhari to overhaul the security committee of the government with a view to balancing religious dichotomy have been falling on the deaf ear. His government has also failed to stop the unending killings by the criminal Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the country especially in the Christian dominated North-central.

“In the 2018 Appropriation Bill, the federal government reportedly appropriated over N600 million in the 2018 budget for execution of capital projects at the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS), just as it has committed N200 million to rehabilitation of the board’s buildings ceded to it by the government.

“The only reason why Leah Sharibu and other Chibok girls remain in the captivity of the outlawed Boko Haram terrorists is because they are Christians. CAN begins to wonder if the islamisation agenda has become a reality or the government is in hurry to bring the hidden plan into a reality.

“The just concluded Nigeria Police entrance examination using JAMB Computer based test (CBT) where Arabic language (the official Islamic language) was made compulsory for Muslims and Christians alike is another dirty slap on the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“To many Christian youths who sat for that examination, the display of the Arabic language questions came as a rude shock. Many could not recover from the setback until JAMB logged them out of the CBT platform. Obviously achieving the aim of the Islamic extremists who are hell bent on fostering their religion and culture on the Nigeria Police Force.

“While it is true that in some police examination centres, some officiating officers advised the candidates to ignore the Arabic Language questions but that again ran contrary to the examination instructions wherein a candidate was required to answer 180 questions viz- Use of English 60, Arabic language 40, Fine Arts 40, and Agriculture 40 hence summing up the 180 questions each candidate is required to answer.”

Ayokunle explained that: “This deliberate attempt to undermine Christians in Nigeria leaves so many questions as to the unity of the nation. It goes to confirm the following – that in a country we all call our own, because the Inspector General of Police and the President are Muslims, they ensure only Muslims get easy entrance to the force.

“That they ensure that only Muslims find their way into strategic planning positions. If not how come this policy of forcing Christians to write Arabic language was planned and hatched without any Christian knowing about it until the entire Christian community in Nigeria were told they do not count.

“It also goes to confirm the plan to make Arabic language compulsory for entrance to our universities with utter disregard for the principle of secularism of the Nigeria nation will be attempted to be forced down our throats.

“However, it’s important to warn here that the Christians in Nigeria can no longer be taken for a ride. We therefore call for immediate cancellation of the purported police entrance exams and a proper examination conducted.

“The candidates should be informed of the subjects they will be examined on before time so that they will be properly tested as it is obtained on every sane society.

“We also find the puerile justification of this very provocative action by JAMB very ridiculous.”

Ayokunle also stated: “The JAMB explanation does not hold any water at all. Other professional bodies like the West African College of Surgeons, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Pilgrims Board use JAMB for the CBT examination and they don’t use any dummy questions. They set only Surgery examinations questions or questions relevant to the specific specialty.

“Dummies are used for pre test exams, not actual exams to know if the questions are of good standard. And pre-test is performed on very few candidates to gauge the standard of the questions.”

The CAN president observed that “at the Port Harcourt centre, it was only few minutes to the end of the examinations, that the candidate were informed that they should answer only USE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE. The implication is that they were short-changed as there was little or no time to complete the test.

“The JAMB officer is being clever by half, how can you introduce 120 dummy questions in an exam of 180 questions and then claim they are to answer only 60 questions?

“And why Arabic language, even if they claimed it is Alphabetic abracadabra, why not Accounting that comes before Arabic in Alphabetical order? And the statement by Dr Fabian Benjamin, the JAMB Spokesperson published in Punch Newspaper on May 26th, 2019 showed that JAMB doesn’t know what Alphabetical order is.

“How can Arabic language come before Accounting and Agriculture. If a national examination body does not understand simple alphabetical order, how can they justify their competence and integrity? And the computer programme/software is so versatile that it can be programmed for specific questions, not the so called JAMB dummies

“The most appropriate action is to cancel the exams and conduct a fresh one devoid of controversies. It will be wrong for the President of Nigeria (who swore to defend both the Christians and Muslims alike) turn around to allow his appointees seek to divide the nation through their actions .

“If the President can allow this affront now and he is still seeking the vote of Christians for a second term we do not trust he will keep us alive if he ascends that throne for another four years.

“CAN demands evidence of cancelation of the examination and fixing of date for a retake within 72 hours of this notice. Else, the Christian community in Nigeria will have no choice than embark on other measures to seek redress of this national insult.

“We also demand evidence of the withdrawal of Arabic language as a compulsory elective for management science studies in tertiary institutions from National Universities Commission. The leadership of the association seeks your support in disseminating this information to all the stakeholders.”