An Islamic group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has condemned the Akwa Ibom State Government for directing secondary schools in the state to go ahead with SSII promotional examinations despite the public holiday declared by the federal government for Salah celebrations.

The group, in a statement issued on Tuesday, described the action of the state government as “arrogant, insensitive, and intolerant”.

“The government of Akwa Ibom State is fully aware that there is a remarkable percentage of Muslim population made up of both indigenes and non-indigenes in the state.

“The children of these Muslims are in Akwa Ibom schools,” the group said.

The statement was signed by MURIC’s founder and director, Ishaq Akintola.

“We strongly condemn the state government’s decision to hold examinations during a Muslim festival and on a public holiday.

“We wonder what the reactions and comments will be if a core Northern state should do something similar on Christmas day,” the statement added.

Two Muslim families in Akwa Ibom, on Tuesday, told PREMIUM TIMES that they reluctantly released their children to go to school on Tuesday so they could write their examinations even when the children were supposed to take part in the Salah celebrations.

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The President of Hausa Community in Akwa Ibom State, Hassan Sadauki, said some private schools in the state had exempted Muslim students from the examinations.

“I have children that are schooling in one of the private secondary schools in the state.

“They (school authority) have exempted them but if this is not applicable to public schools, I would say it is very bad and biased,” Mr Sadauki told PREMIUM TIMES.

PREMIUM TIMES could not reach the Commissioner for Education in the state, Idongesit Etiebet, for comment, as her phone line was switched off as of the time of filing this report.

The Commissioner for Information, Ini Ememobong, did not respond to calls and a text message seeking his comment.

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