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Nigerian university did not ban Sunday activities for Christian students

Claim: A Twitter user claimed that the Federal University DUTSIN-MA in Katsina State has banned Sunday activities for Christians on campus.

The alleged memo that FUDMA has banned Christian activities on its campus is misleading. The president of the Christian students fellowship confirmed that Sunday service is not banned in the institution. However, fellowship days are reduced from three to two days.   

Full Text

A Twitter user, @FestusGreen, on Monday, March 7, 2022, shared an information that the Federal University DUTSIN-MA has banned the believers of Christ from organizing Sunday activities on the university’s campus.

The claimant attached a memo, purportedly issued by the university, to the tweet that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are approved days for church services besides Sunday, a general day.

The screenshot of the tweet

The post has generated over 900 retweets, sparking reactions from many Nigerians.

A commenter, @UchennaObiora resonated with the tweet, saying that the same thing happened at Umaru Musa Yar’adua University about which Nigerians kept mute.

@_Sarah_Emmanuel, however, disagreed with the tweet. She said, “You guys won’t read something we will before posting. Where was it written that religious activities are banned on Sunday?”

Radio Biafra, a Facebook page, also shared the claim which has attracted over 200 shares.

The screenshot of the claim on Facebook

As a result of the controversy and over 900 likes on the tweet and reactions, it is important DUBAWA fact-check the claim and inform Nigerians.

Verification

DUBAWA uncovered that some bloggers have also made the same claim on their websites. For example, Siggy and News Spot Nigeria all shared the information.

However, the Punch Newspaper, a reputable daily in Nigeria, reported that the management denied the restriction of Christian students’ worship hours.

When DUBAWA spoke to The Punch, Director of Public Relations and Protocol, Habibu Matazu, stressed that their report was accurate and the alleged memo from FUDMA is fake. 

The institution soon issued a press in line with The Punch’s report, dispelling  the ban of Christian students from church services on Sundays.

A screenshot of the management’s response to the claim

Beyond press release 

Beyond the press release, DUBAWA reached out to Stephen Shekari, the president of the National Fellowship of Evangelical Students, FUDMA. Shekari, in a phone interview,  revealed that it was not a total ban of Christian students’ activities on campus but a reduction of the fellowship days from three to two.

“Our meeting days which were initially three days a week were reduced to two days. Saturday, which seemed to be our major meeting day as students, was taken out of which it affected us largely,” he said.

The president noted that Saturday is an important day for the fellowship, because they don’t meet on Sundays due to the fact that the university chapel comprising both students and staff members use the venue every Sunday.

“It was our weekly activities that were shortened. The weekly activities were what we all were lamenting about not Sunday service as a whole,” he affirmed.

Conclusion

The alleged claim making rounds in the form of a memo is misleading.   The university chapel still uses Sunday for their activities and only the days of worship or meeting were shortened.

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