From BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE, Osogbo
Contrary to insinuations that the re-classification of schools in Osun state was the cause of unrest in government owned schools in the state, the committee set up by the state government to look into the disquiet in Baptist High School, Iwo, has confirmed that no religion in the state was against the policy.
The committee led by a former commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, Gbadegesin Adedeji, while submitting its report, noted that the old rivalry between the two prominent religions was responsible for the animosity witnessed in the schools in Iwo.
Adedeji commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for being proactive in tackling the opportunistic differences that some people were trying to play on with the re-classification of schools in the state.
Gbadegesin said “The crisis in Baptist High school in Iwo was an issue that should not be treated with kid gloves. I want to use this opportunity to applaud the state government for setting up this committee.
“If the case of Iwo Baptist High school had been allowed to fester, it could have spread over the state. During our assignment, people came out in their hundreds and we had frank exchange of what could be the problem.”
“On the basis of what they told us, we were able to get to a conclusion that no single religion is against the re-classification policy. All we noticed was that it was the ego among the three dominant religions in the state that has been played up.”
The governor while receiving the report noted that the Yoruba race had lived for several millennium with strong distinction on how to approach the divine without any problem.
Aregbesola stressed that the policy was designed to bring out the best from pupils and students, hence the decision of government to nip in the bud, the sectarian unrest at the Baptist High school, Iwo.
His words: “No matter what we profess, Yoruba will never fight on religion because it is strange to them because they have lived together on different beliefs.
“If love is critical and crucial to all faiths, where do we find the hatred and animosity that now characterize our relationships as men of faith? Salvation is an individual thing with God.
“It’s good to hear that the committee was able to discover that it was not the re-classification of schools in the state that fueled the attitude of some misguided students in the school in Iwo, but the rivalry between the two faiths was the cause of what happened in the school.”