In continuation of the analysis into the expuslsion of about 200
students of the Covenant University, over NOT attending church
service, below are few more reactions from parents and NUC
Executive Secretary. If you missed our first update on this, then
click here to read back before continuing.
A few parents who volunteered information spoke
to us on condition of anonymity fearing that their
children might be victimised in case the issue was
resolved amicably. One of them said with
bitterness that it is unacceptable, adding that the
expulsion was not commensurate with the offense
deemed to have been committed. He urged the
school authorities to rescind its decision adding
that the future of the students is at stake.
“For me, it is not acceptable. These students were
not given fair hearing. Expulsion should not be a
punishment for failure to attend service. We all
agree, it is a Christian school but failure to attend
church service could be due to a lot of reasons.
I gathered that some of the students even finished
their exams about 5pm that day, he continued.
So, those people that finished at that time had barely three hours
to prepare for the service. But stampeding them to congregate for
service and then expelling those
who did not come is a decision taken too far. For
me, if there was poor attendance, I think the
authorities have a responsibility. They have not
been fair in putting the service so close to the
examination. Even God will not do that.”
He however commended the Chancellor, Dr.
Oyedepo on his vision towards the education of
Nigeria children especially when the government
institutions are failing, but urging him to tamper
justice with mercy.
Another parent who was afraid of the press noted
that he was still studying the situation and would
not want to comment but noted that he was
reliably informed that some group of parents made
frantic efforts to meet with the Chancellor on the
issue but without success. It was not clear the level
of the efforts made. He further hinted that some
students have not told their parents about their
expulsion, still hoping that the issue would be
resolved.
He lamented that his child had been having
sleepless nights, going through mental torture
unjustifiably. “I agree that discipline must be
instilled in the students but it should not be aimed
at destroying the life of the students. Expulsion is
too great a punishment for non attendance of a
departure service, without even a warning
especially when the students hitherto, had not
been found wanting,” he stated.
What the Student Handbook says
The Covenant University Core values border on
Spirituality, Possibility Mentality, Capacity Building,
Integrity, Responsibility, Diligence and Sacrifice. On
the spirituality aspect, it states: “The Christian
ethos underguard our activities and conducts at all
time and every student of Covenant University is
expected to exhibit character traits and
dispositions of a Jesus-centered heritage. The Jesus
– factor centered approach to all issues is non-
negotiable and central in the pursuit of our
mandate in raising a new generation of leaders and
in the realization of the objectives of our purpose.
To this extent therefore, students will be
committed to maintaining a high level of spirituality and shall act in
such manner as to facilitate their spiritual growth as well as work
out ways to evolve and implement a spiritual development plan.
Attendance at Chapel Services is a compulsory part of students’
spiritual development where a bible and notebook are
essential kits for the service. Students are expected
to demonstrate a deep reverence for God at all
times.”
The school declines comment
Several attempts were made to get the school
authorities comment on the issue. The institution’s
Corporate/Public Affairs Officer, Mr Igban
Emmanuel Kalu declined comment. At first, several
calls were pulled through to him but he refused to
pick his calls. When the reporter persisted, he later
picked but said he was driving and could not
answer any question. But few hours later, other
calls pulled to him were unanswered. A text
message was sent to his phone and up to the time
of writing this report, he did not reply.
I’m not aware —Prof Julius Okojie, NUC Secretary
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities
Commission, NUC, Prof Julius Okojie said he has not
been briefed on the matter.
Prof Okojie stated this during a telephone
conversation Saturday Vanguard had with him a
few days ago. “I am not aware of any expulsion by
Covenant University; I will ask the school
authorities. Right now, I am not in Abuja, I left
Abuja few days ago and until I return to Abuja and
find out details about the matter, I cannot
comment on it,” he said.
The question is this: is this offense worth expulsion for as
many as 200 Nigerian students? Discuss it!

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