The Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University in Katsina State has outlawed Christian and other non-Muslim associations.
No reason was given for the decision. The home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, Katsina is predominantly Muslim, but the Nigerian Constitution declares the country a secular State and recognises the individual’s right to freedom of association.
The ban on non-Muslim groups at the state-owned institution formerly known as Katsina State University was announced via an Internal Memo dated 17thJanuary, 2017 addressed to all students, clubs and associations in the school. Entitled RE: REGISTRATION OF STUDENTS CLUBS/ASSOCIATIONS, the memo was signed by the Acting Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Sulaiman Sani Kankara. It declared the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) as the only religious group allowed to operate in the school.
The memo reads: “Reference to the memo sent to you on the above subject matter intimating you on the Management’s resolution at its 59th meeting held on 10th January, 2017, I wish to make the following clarifications:
- i. Participation in clubs/associations is strictly optional, as such no student should be compelled to pay any dues.
- ii. Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) is the only religious association allowed to operate in the University.
- iii. Duly registered Departmental Associations should be allowed to operate, but they should observe item (i) above.
All Tribal and Local Government Associations are prohibited by the University.”