Last week, the Christian Association for Nigeria (CAN) alleged that out of all the parastatals in the ministry of education, only four are headed by Christians.
Samson Ayokunle, the CAN President, made the allegation when criticising some of the topics added to the new syllabus of Christian Religious Studies (CRS).
“To say the least, that is a misleading statement from a Minister who is not only trying to Islamise the ministry with all the appointments he has made but denying the reality of discrimination policy under his watch,” Ayokunle had said.
“A situation where 13 of their heads are Muslims while the remaining four are Christians is an ill-wind that would blow no one any good.”
17 PARASTATALS — IS THAT TRUE?
Ayokunle’s statement implied that there are 17 parastatals/agencies in the ministry of education. This isn’t true.
According to the website of the ministry of education (www.education.gov.ng), there are 21 parastatals, but these include the West African Examination Council (WAEC), which is a sub-regional body and is not under the direct control of the ministry. The chairman is Evelyn S. Kandakai, a Liberian.
So if one excludes WAEC, then there are 20 parastatals on the list.
However, the list of newly appointed heads of education parastatals, released in August 2016, featured the Nomadic Education Commission and the National Institute for Nigerian Languages, both of which were not listed as parastatals on the website of the education ministry. These two take the number of education ministry parastatals to 22.
ANSWER: No, there are at least 22 parastatals in the education ministry.
13 MUSLIMS, 4 CHRISTIANS — IS THIS TRUE?
Here is a table containing the parastatals in the ministry and the religion of their heads
|1||National University Commission (NUC)||Abubakar A Rasheed||Muslim|
|2||Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria||Josiah Olusegun Ajiboye||Christian|
|4||National Board for Technical Education||Masa’udu A. Kazaure||Muslim|
|5||Tertiary Education Trust Fund||Abdullahi B. Baffa||Muslim|
|6||National Business and Technical Examination Board||Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe||Christian|
|7||National Commission for Colleges of Education||Bappa Aliyu Muhammadu||Muslim|
|8||National Examination Council||Charles Uwakwe||Christian|
|9||National Institute for Education Planning and Administration||Lilian Salami –||Christian|
|10||National Library of Nigeria||Lanre Aina –||Christian|
|11||National Mathematical Centre||Stephen Ejugwu Onah –||Christian|
|12||Universal Basic Education||Hameed Bobboye||Muslim|
|13||National Open University||Adamu Uba Abdalla||Muslim|
|14||National Teachers’ Institute||Garba Dahuwa Azare||Muslim|
|15||National Educational Research and Development Council||Ismail Junaidu||Muslim|
|16||Librarian Registration Council of Nigeria||Michael Afolabi –||Christian|
|17||Computer Professionals (Registration Council) of Nigeria||Vincent Asor||Christian|
|18||National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education of Nigeria||Abba Aladu||Muslim|
|19||Nigeria Arabic Language Village||Muhammad Mu’az –||Muslim|
|20||Nigeria French Language village||Rauf Adebisi –||Muslim|
|21||National commission for nomadic education||Bashir Usman –||Muslim|
|22||National of institute of Nigerian Languages||Chinyere Ohiri-Aniche –||Christian|
ANSWER: From the the table, it is clear that the ratio of Muslims to Christians in the leadership of education parastatals is not 13: 4. Instead, it is 13:9. Therefore, CAN President Ayokunle was WRONG when he said “a situation where 13 of their heads are Muslims while the remaining four are Christians is an ill-wind that would blow no one any good”.