6th July, 2023
By Jethro Ibileke
A group, Knights of St-John International and Ladies Auxiliary, has thrown its weight behind the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria’s rejection of the proposed Bill for an Act to establish the National Council for Christian Education by the National Assembly.
The group made this known in a statement signed by Sir (Prof) Remi Uche, Supreme Subordinate President, Nigeria and Noble Lady Chinwe Mgbajiaka, Supreme Subordinate Ladies Auxillary President, Nigeria.
The knights of St John International and Ladies Auxiliary is a world wide organization with about 20,000 Nigerian as members.
According to the signatories, the organization exists in Europe, the Americas, Africa, among others, for the purpose of defending the Christian faith as handed down through the Apostolic succession unmistakably represented by the Bishops of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN.
Uche who described the bill as completely injurious, demanded that it should be discarded forthwith.
“The bill should be discarded as it is absolutely injurious and in-cognizant of the fundamental doctrinal differences between the Catholic Christian faith and those of the motley denominations sponsoring the Bill,” he said.
It would be recalled that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria had June 27, 2023 rejected the bill describing it as incompatible with the secular character of the Nigeria State as enshrined in section 10 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The CBCN also opined that the bill is unnecessary and impracticable because of “our doctrinal differences, and our juridical autonomy in matters of education is being surrendered to the government”.
The CBCN further added that due to the injurious nature of the bill as reflected in some paragraphs; it expressed its absolute objection to the bill.
The bill, which seeks to develop, regulate and approve syllabuses/contents at all levels of Christian education, was sponsored by Rimamde Kwewum, Beni Lar, Yusuf Ayo Tajudeen, John Dyegh, Solomon Bob and Benjamin Mzondu.
The bill is also 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 programmes of Christian theological institutions.
Prof Remy Uche; Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji (President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria) and Sister Chinwe Mgbajiaka