The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has rejected a bill to establish the National Council of Christian Education.
The Bishops are arguing that the proposed law violates sections 10 and 42(3) of Nigeria’s Constitution.
The bishops tasked the Christian Association of Nigeria, which originally pushed for the bill at the National Assembly, to promote legislation that decisively addresses unprovoked attacks on Christians in the North, among others, rather than promoting a bill that violates the secular character of Nigeria.
The CBCN rejected the bill in a statement by its President, Archbishop Lucius Ugorji, and Secretary, Bishop Donatus Ogu.
The bill, which seeks to develop, regulate and approve syllabuses/contents at all levels of Christian education, was sponsored by Hon. Rimamde Kwewum, Hon. Beni Lar, Hon. Yusuf Tajudeen, Hon. John Dyegh, Hon. Solomon Bob and Hon. Benjamin Mzondu.
The statement said the bill, among others, was designed to certify Christian religion education instructors at basic and secondary levels and to approve the content of all Christian Religion Education in all schools and accredit programmes of Christian theological institutions.
The bill, the Catholic bishops lamented, made no exemption for seminaries and other religious institutes owned by the various Christian denominations across the federation, claiming that it infringed on their rights to provide instructions and formation according to their respective doctrines, citing Section 42 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.