July 29, 2020

Igbo religious group threatens to sue govs over non-inclusion in the academic calendar

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By Vincent Ujumadu – Awka

The Ọgbakọ Odinani Worldwide, a Pan Igbo religious body, has threatened to sue the governments of the five South Eastern states, as well as Rivers and Delta states if they fail to introduce traditional Ìgbo religious studies into the school curriculum from the next academic year.

President General of Ogbako Odinani Worldwide, Nze Chibuzo Onyido said in an interview that the provision of freedom of worship in the country’s constitution entailed that every religion should be taught in schools.

According to him, it was unfortunate that children from traditional religious homes were being indoctrinated with foreign belief system against the wish of their families and against the spirit of freedom of worship as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.

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He said that his organization would request the court to ask that governments of the seven states with indigenous Igbo population to set aside a day as a public holiday for the official celebration of the New Yam festival in the entire Igbo –speaking states.

Another leader of the group, Mr. Ikenna Nwachukwu said they would no longer watch while leaders of the country assume that every Igbo child has a Christian background and should, therefore, have no choice but to study Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK)  against their freedom of choice and worship.

“Students and parents must be given a choice on what kind of religious values should be impacted on their children. By sticking to the existing school curriculum, over six million children with Odinani family background have been denied their right to study their faith over the years. We are set for a long drawn legal battle even up to the Supreme Court if necessary,” he said.