The South-West Conference of the Nigerian Baptist Convention said that Kwara law shows that the state government is not the owner of mission schools in the state.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the presidents of all the different Baptist conferences in the South-West while reacting to the order by the Kwara State government that Muslim female students can wear hijab in all public schools.
The Baptist Convention said that the 1974 Education Law Edict of Kwara State signed by the then military administrator, Colonel Lasisi Bamigboye (Rtd) states that mission schools are not taken over by the government, but the management of staff (the teachers) is the only thing the government of Kwara State has taken over.
The statement said, “There is no gainsaying that Christian mission organisations, as far back as the mid 18th century, 1865 to be precise, have and are still playing significant roles in providing qualitative primary and post-primary education in Nigeria.
“The evidence of this can be seen in the number of mission schools established within Nigeria, Kwara State inclusive. Nigerians will recall that some Muslims attended our mission schools and they were not forced to change their religion, people in that category served the nation.
“Worthy of note is the 1974 Education Law Edict of Kwara State signed by the then military administrator, Colonel Lasisi Bamigboye (Rtd) which categorically states, and by interpretation, that the Voluntary Agency Institutions (i.e the mission schools) are not taken over by the government, but the management of staff (the teachers) is the only thing the government of Kwara State is taken over.
“Furthermore, the edict states that the proprietors still retain the right of ownership; names of schools remain as given by the proprietors; religious orientation and practices in the school’s remain generally undisturbed; the total tone of the institutions remains the responsibility of the Board of governors of the school as the main organ of the proprietors.”
The Convention described throwing stones and dangerous objects into mission schools and churches as coordinated attacks that is beyond wearing hijabs.
“We saw again on Monday, March 22, how some churches were attacked even while their gates were firmly locked by throwing stones and dangerous objects into their premises. This shows that these are coordinated attacks on churches in Ilorin and the issue at hand is beyond wearing hijabs in our schools. At least the schools were not opened that day.”