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Governor Udom Prohibits The Use Of School Facilities For Socio-religious Activities

Akwa Ibom State Government has prohibited the use of public school facilities for social and religious gatherings both on weekdays and Sundays.

Addressing Government House correspondents shortly after the weekly executive council meeting, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong disclosed that henceforth, church owners who wish to use classrooms of public school for religious services must apply and obtain permission from the Commissioner for Education.

The Commissioner disclosed that council took these decisions to prevent further disruptions of academic activities and to safeguard the infrastructure in schools.

The executive council also abolished the weekend schooling system brought about as parts of the COVID19 strategic plans, and reverted learning to the five working days.

“The use of schools blocks and facilities for church activities has now been brought under strict regulations.

“Any church that intends to use any school facility must receive the express permission of the Honourable Commissioner for Education before doing that.”

The State Executive Council maintained that such considerations could be given on the basis of certain conditions, including the guarantee that the church will not make use of the dual desks at the schools and assurances of leaving the school facilities in the best of conditions after use.

The Information Commissioner disclosed that “there is absoute prohibition on schools days, Mondays to Fridays.

“We don’t want a situation where school activities are disrupted because people use the school premises for burials, weddings and other social activities”.

He maintained that the government is not ready to invest in provision of infrastructure for education and people under the guise of religious or social activities go in and vandalise them.

The earlier arrangements where Heads of Schools issued approvals and licenses for the usage of school facilities have been abolished.

The Commissioner said the Governor in Council, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, particularly frowned at the security issues in Essien Udim and gave assurances that with the collaboration of the state government and security agencies absolute normalcy will return, not just to Essien Udim, but also to its environs, very soon.

He said the White Paper on the report of the Commission of Enquiry into the perennial crises in Nkari, Ini LGA in 2013 was also received and adopted as the official position of government and that its recommendations will be acted upon.

On infrastructure, Comrade Ememobong said the Council gave approval for additional works on the 19.3Km Anua-Mbak Ishiet Road, accepted recommendations by the State Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof. Eno Ibanga, for additional works on Ikot Ebiere-Ikot Edor-Ikot Iko Ibom-Okom road and Ukpana-Akabom-Ikwe road in Onna and Mkpat Enin Local Government Areas.

The council also approved the construction of the 1.4km outfall drain on the Ndue Otong Oku road and received a proposition for additional works on the roads in Oron.

With the approvals, the roads are expected to be ready on schedule for commissioning and in durable conditions, the Commissioner added.