Muslim Group Rejects New NYSC Date For Orientation Due To Ramadan
This was revealed in a statement issued by MURIC’s director, Ishaq Akintola and made available to PremiumTimes.
The group said the date coincided with Muslim corps members’ Ramadan fasting.
“It is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional for NYSC to hold camp at a time when its Muslim members will be deprived of their freedom of worship and the liberty to practice their creed without fear.
“This planned camp is exclusive, discriminatory and parochial,” the statement said.
The new date was fixed after several postponements and cancellations. The NYSC, in a statement, said the orientation course had to be postponed due to financial reason. A date was finally fixed after President Muhammadu Buhari approved and released funds for the scheme.
The NYSC orientation programme would run from June 13 to June 29 nationwide.
MURIC noted that any Nigerian institution dealing with schedules and programmes is expected to consider the dates and periods of important festivals, rituals and religious practices.
“This should form the core of its logistics. It is our humble opinion that NYSC headquarters has failed in its strategic planning by allowing its next camp to clash with the Ramadan period,” said Mr. Akintola, a professor.
“What happened to 21st May, 2016, which was the date earlier picked for the orientation?
“We do not want to believe that the shift was deliberately planned to coincide with the Ramadan season with a view to excluding prospective Muslim corpers.
“MURIC is not trying to indulge Muslim youths. Fasting is no joke and it certainly cannot be combined with the physical challenges which characterize the NYSC camp.”
The group also noted some challenges that eligible Muslims will face if they underwent the orientation course at this time.
The statement mentioned such things as dehydration and added stress due to the drills organised by soldiers in charge.
The Muslim group also mentioned that meals will also be a challenge as adequate sahuur (early morning meal taken approximately between 4 am and 5.15 am) cannot be guaranteed in the NYSC camp. Neither can the futuur (meal taken at sunset to break fast ) be timely as camp schedules are bound to ignore and subsume this very important period.
Akintola, in his statement pointed out that fasting is compulsory for every Muslim adult, adding that any obstacle put in the way of Muslims to make it impossible for them to fast is an encroachment on their fundamental human right and a flagrant violation of Nigerian Constitution.
“There is more to Ramadan than ordinary fasting,” he said.
“That is on the surface. The whole month of Ramadan is a period of spiritual dedication. There are so many other spiritual exercises in which Muslims engage, the tafsiir (exegesis of the Qur’an) session, the taraawih (late evening supererogatory prayers) and nawaafil (night supererogatory prayers).
“Only the deep can call to the deep. All these cannot be possible in the NYSC camp.”