Authorities of the Umar Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina, has allegedly banned any other religious or tribal associations on the institution’s campus besides the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria.
The development was announced by the university’s Dean of Students’ Affairs, Dr. Sulaiman Kankara, in an internal memorandum dated January 17, 2017, and captioned; “Re: Registration of Students Clubs/Associations.”
Sulaiman said the new directive was part of the resolutions of the institution’s management at its 59th meeting, which held on January 10, 2017. The memo reads in part:
“The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria is the only religious association allowed to operate in the university.
“All tribal and local government associations are prohibited by the university. Duly registered departmental associations should be allowed to operate, but they should observe item (I) above.”
Since the announcement was made public, Nigerians have reacted to the new directive by the UMYU authorities, with some describing it as unconstitutional, while expressing fears that it could fuel religious crisis in the country.
Some other Nigerians opined that the memo was targeted at stopping Christians in the Umar Musa Yar’Adua University from associating.
However, in reaction to the controversies surrounding the memo, the Dean of Student Affairs at the Umar Musa Yar’Adua University, Dr. Sulaiman Kankara, has clarified that the memo had nothing to do with Christians.
Speaking to Premium Times, he said:
“Actually there is one misconception in the memo. But the fact of the matter is that in Umaru Yar’Ádua University, there is no association known as Christian Students Association.
“There is one religious association and subsidiary Islamic students associations like the Tijjanniya Students Movement in Nigeria, Academic Forum of Islamic Movement in Nigeria and many associations like that.
“They are Islamic students association. So what we want is to have a single union which will be the mouthpiece of muslim students and that is the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria.
“It has nothing to do with any Christian group because up till now, I have not received any application requesting registration of Christian Students Society. And once they do that, we are ready to register them.
“Even as at last week, we said the two religious group to be recognised by the university will be the Muslim one and one from the Christian side. Up till now, we are yet to receive any application for the registration of any Christian association in the university from any group.”