…Says Middle Belt never agreed to controversial Arabic and islamic studies bill
A group under the auspices of Middle Belt Patriotic Front has blasted the “Concerned Northern Forum” for alleging that it consulted 73 civil society organizations and the 19 Northern States regarding a proposed bill before the National Assembly for the propagation of Islamic Education in the country.
Middle Belt Patriotic Front (MBPF) said in a statement that stakeholders in the Middle Belt were not consulted about such a bill and would oppose its implementation due to the dishonest method employed by the sponsors of the bill on the Nigerian people. Esson Abalaku, the MBPF’s president, made the statement on Wednesday in Jalingo the Taraba state capital.
According to the statement sighted by Middle Belt Times, the president said;
“such a bill should be restricted to all core Northern Islamic areas and exempt the Middle Belt people who favor secular education.
“It is crucial that they be consulted in the case that the Middle Belt people think about switching to other kinds of education, and each state government release affirmative remarks to confirm this viewpoint.”
Speaking further in response to request for budgetary increase so that the board could operate similarly to other educational boards, MBPF said;
“Any group who would want such special provisions in their states could make do with the budgetary allocations specifically allocated for their state for such activities.”
The President added that it was “concerning” that the forum representatives wanted the bill to be passed quickly, especially since it would have an impact on areas where the majority of the populace felt uncomfortable about not having their views represented on such a delicate matter”.
The MBPF has urged all state governors, legislators, civil society organizations, and all southern and middle belt groups to thoroughly review the aforementioned bill before it passage into law.