May 21, 2016

NUC can’t regulate Bible Colleges, Theologians argue

NUC can’t regulate Bible Colleges, Theologians argue


By Sam Eyoboka

SEVENTY-NINE year old protégé of the famous Macaulay family of Lagos, Prof, Augustus Macaulay has narrated his ordeal at the hands of operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practi-ces and Other Related Matters Commission, ICPC, for “operating an illegal university.”

Macaulay, a member of many professional bodies in and outside Nigeria; one of two Nigerians who tested the first Peugeot car assembled in Nigeria by Peugeot Automo-bile of Nigeria, PAN, in 1975 was whisked away on April 27 by two operatives and an armed Policeman and detain-ed for three days without access to his medication.

Narrating his ordeal, the British-trained automobile engineer, who is also the president of Association of Christian Theologians, ACTS—a Christian and theological regulatory body in the nation—accused the Federal Government and its agents including the Nation-al Universities Commission, NUC, of making deliberate efforts to halt theological education in Nigeria.

According to the proprietor of United Bible University, Ojodu, Ikeja in Lagos the Federal Government has no business interfering with Christian and religious education because it does not fall into the category of education to be regulated by NUC. “Our education pro-vides knowledge, skills and expertise for Christian schol-ars and church workers for the growth of the growth of the work of God in Nigeria. Our researches are based on the opt of improving quality theological education and Christian professional effi-ciency,” Macaulay argued.

“Considering the secularity of Nigeria, we believe that the Federal Government includ-ing its agents have no con-stitutional rights to decide what the Church in Nigeria should teach and preach and how Bible colleges should train, grade and certify Christian experts and church professionals like church managers, church administ-rators, church planters, evangelists, pastoral careers, Christian counselors and theologians,” he further argued.

He therefore noted with embarrassment that the NUC is complaining “about Bible Colleges awarding degrees and offering prof-essorship to their scholars without finding out the disci-plines concerned.”

Macaulay stated that Theology, Divinity, Mission, Church management, and Administration and Christ-ian education do not come under the purview of the NUC and as such cannot be consi-dered secular education.

“It is essential to state that we do not see the need to submit to NUC’s accredi-tation because the Nigerian Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion in S. 38 (i). In order to operate, we do not require the licence of any governmental agency. Our university is a religious and theological institution, which offer intellectually spirit-filled education design-ed for people who are involved in the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ through preaching and teaching,” he further stated.

Macaulay therefore warn-ed the Federal Government against its plan to close degree-awarding Bible Coll-eges, saying that such move would adversely affect over 2,000 bible colleges with a staff strength of over 15,000 people who will become jobless and over 400,000 students who will not only be stopped from achieving their aims in life but will join the league of miscreants to make Nigeria ungovernable.