Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has ordered public and private primary and secondary schools in the state to stop the practice of holding morning or afternoon prayers.
The governor also directed that all teachers with effect from next year must be in suits during official hours. A letter signed by the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Education, Mrs Anne O. Odey, dated October 21, said the suspension of prayers will subsist till further notice.
The directive which was sent to all zonal heads in the state said, “the ministry hereby directs all public and private primary and secondary schools across the state to suspend all assemblies (morning and afternoon) till further notice.”
All school heads were directed to comply strictly or risk sanctions.
In a reaction to this development, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) signed by Archbishop J. E. Ukpo and Apostle Iwara Oleh Obeten, state chairman and secretary respectively, said such directive was completely unacceptable.
CAN said the directive will negatively affect the upbringing of children and urged the state government to immediately withdraw such statement.