30 July 2016
The Parents Teachers Association of the Nigerian-Turkish International Colleges (NTIC), has called on the Nigerian government to disregard any request for the closure of the schools in the country.
The parents, who made the call on Saturday in Abuja at a meeting, said the accusation that the schools were training grounds for terrorists was baseless and unsustainable.
The Turkish Government on Thursday asked the Nigerian Government to close all the Nigerian-Turkish International Colleges (NTIC) in Nigeria.
According to the Turkish ambassador in Nigeria, Hakan Cakil, the Nigerian-Turkish International Colleges belonged to Fetullah Gulen, a U.S.-based exile accused of sponsoring the July 15 failed military coup in Turkey.
Cakil made the call while hosting the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Sen. Shehu Sani of the APC, who represents Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
He alleged that the schools belonged to Gulen`s movement, a cult of personalities that runs a secretive transnational network aiming to overthrow the Turkish government.
“The accusation is baseless and a slight on us parents and the Nigerian government,’’ Hajiya Hauwa Abubakar, a parent, who has three children in the school said.
She maintained that the parents knew the operators of the schools to their homes and families, adding that they could not have been involved in a coup plot.
Hajiya Sani Balogun, Vice-Chairperson NTIC primary, added that there was something unique in the school and called on the Federal Government to react to the ambassador`s call.
Prof. Shehu Abudulahi, also a parent, however, said that if the school was doing anything wrong, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should investigate.
He urged parents not to be too emotional about the call made by the ambassador to the extent of dropping names.
He stressed that there was, however, a need to carry along all the 17 NTICs in the country in the fight to ensure that the schools were not closed.
Abudulahi added that the schools were playing very significant role in the development of education in Nigeria and should not be closed unless it was found wanting and culpable.
He said that the school was one of the most secured in the country, adding that even in the heat of Boko Haram activities in the northeast, it remained open in Yobe.
He added that so long as the NTIC had operated within the laws of Nigeria, it should be allowed to remain in operation.
He urged the parents to remain resolute in their struggle to ensure that the institutions were not closed.
He also urged the operators of the schools to continue preparing for the new school year, saying: “there is no shaking.’’
Dr. Awulu Awulu, first Education Secretary of the FCT, also a parent at the meeting, appreciated the NTIC management, and urged parents to stand by the school in its trying period.
According to him, the call by the Turkish ambassador for the closure of the NTIC was targeted at parents and not at the institution.
He advised that regardless of the anger in the parents, they should follow due process in their struggle.
Parents at the meeting were unanimous in saying that they would stand by the NTIC to the end to ensure that it was not closed as requested by the ambassador.
The NTIC had been operating in Nigeria in the past 18 years. Some of its old students at the meeting, said they would join their parents in backing the institution.