Nigeria: FG May Introduce Compulsory Religious Education in Schools

Lagos, Nigeria - PRESIDENT Umaru Yar'Adua yesterday pledged that his administration would seriously consider the possibility of introducing compulsory religious education in all the country's educational institutions with a view to enhancing his administration's war against corruption.

Receiving a delegation of Nigeria's Muslim Ummah at the State House in Abuja, the president said the issue of moral education is critical to efforts being made by his administration to move Nigeria to greatness.

The delegation of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs was led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar 111, with the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Mohammed El Kanemi and representatives of the Emirs of Kano, Katsina, Zaria and the Secretary-General of the Council, Dr. Lateef Adegbite among others in attendance.

The president stated: "the issues you (Sultan of Sokoto) have raised about moral education training is critical to all the efforts we are taking to move this country to higher height. Without the necessary training and moral authority, no government can achieve its missions of ensuring transparency, honesty, fear of God and upholding the trust placed on us. We will ensure that the curricula of our schools contain religious education' he said.

Yar'Adua said his administration would work towards ensuring religious harmony as well as peaceful co-existence of the various religious groups in the country by strengthening the Inter religious Council which the Sultan of Sokoto and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria co-chairs.

Earlier in his speech, the Sultan of Sokoto and leader of the delegation, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar, said the delegation was at the villa to congratulate the president on his election "and to commiserate with you as Muslims, on the enormous responsibility placed on you by God to lead this country".

While promising to pray for the president, the Sultan however challenged him to ensure that the religious crises that had characterized some parts of the country in the past do not repeat themselves.