The Chairman of Oyo State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) yesterday reacted to the allegation of Christianising the CBT test held on Tuesday, 11 th August, 2020. The allegation was made by an Islamic human rights association, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on Friday, 14 th August, 2020. MURIC alleged that Muslim candidates were made to answer questions on biblical stories.
But in a swift reaction, the Executive Chairman of Oyo TESCOM, Pastor Akinade Alamu, issued a press statement in which it explained that the incident was not deliberate. Oyo TESCOM blamed computer technicalities. It also said some Christian candidates were given questions on Islamic knowledge. TESCOM statement was signed by its Permanent Secretary, Grace Olabisi Oderinde.
However, MURIC has reacted positively to the development. In a statement issued on Sunday, 16 th August, 2020, the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, commended the Executive Chairman of TESCOM for his exemplary behaviour. MURIC thanked Pastor Akinade Alamu for addressing the core issue raised by the human rights association.
He continued, “Pastor Akinade comes across as the type of leader we need in this country. Nigeria needs a leader who is sensitive to the feelings of the people. We need a leader who will not ignore complaints but who will confront them frontally. The solution offered by Oyo TESCOM to our complaint may not be perfect, but nobody can fault the military dispatch with which it was addressed. We thank Pastor Akinade Alamu for displaying high level maturity.
“Instead of abusing or threatening us, instead of hiring a fiction story writer or fraudulently forming a fictitious 24-hour ‘Islamic’ organisation to start a dirty fight (just what some have done to hide their glaring oppression of Muslims), Pastor Akinade Alamu studied our grievance and took time to come up with a panacea. He set aside religious differences. He addressed the message and not the messenger. His language was refined, civil, diplomatic and parliamentarian. This is really commendable.
“Here is a big lesson for the governors of Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti whose reactions to our criticisms have been undemocratic and nonconventional. The case of Oyo TESCOM and MURIC has proved that propaganda is not public relations. Leaders can stoop to conquer. Those in charge of public relations in public or private organisations must know this. Image makers must learn to respect the other side. Grandstanding and name-calling can only lead to the escalation of the crisis.
“MURIC will remain faithful to its motto, ‘Dialogue, Not Violence’. We are open to discussions before, during or after opening an issue. We are not rigid. Neither are we extremists. It is only our dectractors who want to give us a bad name. We will continue to peacefully coexist with our neighbours but on equal terms of mutual respect, i.e. without compromising Allah-given fundamental rights of Muslims.”