The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) yesterday apologized to Muslim candidates who were disallowed from entering Covenant University and Canaanland JAMB centres to sit for the mock examination which took place on Thursday 30th March, 2023.
But while accepting JAMB’s apology, an Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), accused the examination body of pampering Christian private universities who witch-hunt Muslims. The group insists that JAMB should take action on the petitions written against Covenant University and Canaanland.
This was revealed in the organisation’s reaction circulated to the media by its
Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Saturday, 8th April, 2023.
The statement reads :
“The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) yesterday apologized to Muslim candidates who were disallowed from entering Covenant University and Canaanland JAMB centres to sit for the mock examination which took place on Thursday 30th March, 2023 (https://saharareporters.com/2023/04/04/nigerian-agency-jamb-apologises-fix-another-exam-muslim-students-delayed-covenant/).
“We accept JAMB’s apology in good faith and we express appreciation for rescheduling the examination for those maltreated at the centres. JAMB is being charitable and humble by tendering apology and we commend the examination body for doing that.
“Nonetheless, we are constrained to ask what next apart from the examination rescheduled for the poor, innocent female Muslim candidates who were persecuted, traumatized and derided yet their only crime was wearing hijab and being Muslims?
“How will JAMB lift their lowly spirit and remove their excruciating agony and sorrow? Also, how will JAMB douse tension among millions of Muslims who have suffered agonising pain on account of the maltreatment of their fellow Muslims?
“We contend that JAMB is treating the Christian private universities with kid’s gloves. Rescheduling the examination cannot be the only consequence for the oppression, dehumanisation, and stigmatization which Covenant University and Canaanland wilfully and maliciously visited upon our daughters as if the latter are less homo sapien compos mentis.
“The fact that JAMB alone is the one apologising, perhaps accepting responsibility for inviting the candidates, while the culprits themselves wear the toga of recalcitrance, arrogance and lack of remorse, is enough to tell Nigerians that there have been no consequences and there will never be if care is not taken.
“The implication of such a situation is that there will be repetitions time and time again. Hijabophobia will occur again so long as there is no punitive action for what happened at Covenant University on 30th March, 2023. Others who have not seen any deterrence will also do it. They will do it again and again as long as they are treated like sacred cows.
“MURIC demands justice for those poor innocent Muslim girls. We are not convinced by Covenant’s excuse that it was not aware of what was happening to Muslim candidates at its gate. We prefer to be human beings dissatisfied than pigs satisfied. We will rather be free men in our graves than live like puppets and slaves in our own land.
“We therefore call attention to a petition written by us and addressed to the JAMB Registrar. The petition which was dated 3rd April 2023, left Lagos by courier on the same day. We are also aware of another petition on the same matter written by another Islamic organization.
“In our petition, we demanded that:
JAMB should delist Canaanland and Covenant University as well as all other centres where such ugly incidents occurred;
JAMB should repeatedly issue instructions to its examination centres with warnings against discrimination and stigmatization of any religious group and
Such warnings should be made available to the general public.
JAMB should make arrangements for reparations for victims of such persecution in form of a repeat exercise with full time as allotted to other candidates at any other time convenient for the examination body.
“It is clear from the relief announced by JAMB that it has only attended to the last demand, namely, a rescheduled examination with full time. We reject the plea of ignorance about the ill-treatment of the Muslim candidates coming from Covenant University and Canaanland. They are both vicariously liable for actions taken by their staff. It is either vicarious liability or negligence and ineptitude. They must admit one and accept culpability.
“The only thing that can change our position is a public apology from both Covenant University and Canaanland. If JAMB can tender public apology on a matter which it did not order directly, what stops the culprits from doing the same? A public apology will mean they are likely to desist from a repetition. Refusal to apologise will mean total and absolute desertification of any sense of remorse and a flamboyant exhibition of l’etat cest moi proclivity.
“We remind JAMB that it is responsible for sending candidates to centres. To that extent, therefore, JAMB is duty bound to protect the candidates’ interest and welfare, including the dignity of their human persons.
“JAMB has no business sending candidates to centres where they will be harassed and humiliated or where the examination body cannot guarantee safe and peaceful conduct as well as respect for human dignity.
“JAMB should not pamper any Christian private university. It will further expose Muslim candidates to ridicule. JAMB’s apology does not cover the crimes of Covenant and Canaanland. It cannot extenuate their offence. Apologising on their behalf is not even enough. Let them apologise by themselves for failing to respect their fellow human beings. Anyone who dehumanizes a single Muslim has offended more than two billion Muslims who live on earth today.
“This is why no single candidate should be posted to Covenant University and Canaanland for future examinations until they apologise publicly. Nigerians are waiting.”
#DelistCovenantUniversity #DelistCanaanland #HijabIsDignity
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
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