Northern Nigerian Universities Refuse To Allow Christian Worship Centres – Bishop Kukah Laments

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The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has expressed his concern about the growing prevalence of ethnic and religious prejudices in Nigerian universities, especially in the northern region of the country.

Speaking during an interview with Arise TV on Thursday, Kukah alleged that most universities in the North have refused to allow the Christian community to establish worship centres on the school premises.

Bishop Kukah also criticized the diminishing diversity and merit-based practices in academic institutions in the region.

He said: “A mosque was constructed at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. I delivered a convocation lecture in Calabar three weeks ago. After my lecture, the Chief Imam of the University came to congratulate me.

“But as I speak to you, Usman Dan Fodio, who is over 40 years old, Bayero University, and other universities in Northern Nigeria have decided to close their doors to the possibility of churches being built in the universities across this country.

“All this fanaticism we are seeing is expressed in public life. If students in the university or at the point of their growing up are not allowed to integrate and interrelate, and if churches or mosques cannot be built across this country, then there is a problem.”

The Catholic Bishop emphasized that diversity and meritocracy in Nigerian universities are on the decline, with ethnic and religious factors taking on a more prominent role.

“There was a time when Ahmadu Bello University had lecturers from different parts of the world. Now, look at what has happened to our universities across Nigeria. Our universities have become just mere incubators of ethnic jingoism.

“So, I do not know which funded Federal University that you will name that has a Vice Chancellor that is not a local boy.

“So the universities themselves have become playgrounds for the ambitions of the local elite. The question is, why should a place of worship be a problem for a university? Whether it is for the Muslim students in Calabar or the Christian students in Sokoto.

“I approached the Minister of Education about this. I have a letter from the Nigerian University Commission. The universities in northern Nigeria have refused to implement this recommendation,” Bishop Kukah said

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