Some ex-students at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, have criticised the institution for shaving the alleged bushy hair of its male students.
Some alumni, as well as some Nigerians, took to the social media to call out the school following a viral video that captured students seated in a hall as a man used a hair clipper to pluck hair off the middle of their heads under the supervision of some staff members.
The school was also criticised for allegedly using a single unsterilised hair clipper on all the students on the grounds that they might contract diseases in the process.
An alumnus, Okoli Offorbuike, said the action was disdainful and undermined the cliché “Kings and Queens” used for students at the university.
In one of his posts on Facebook on the matter, Offorbuike posted the pictures of the General Overseers of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, and the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Worldwide, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, where the former wore Afro and the other kept hair.
He called on the university alumni to facilitate the inclusion of a law in the students’ handbook that would accord the students honour, dignity and respect.
He wrote, “After seeing this act carried out in my Alma Mater, I began to ask myself that maybe calling students kings and queens in Covenant University is just a mere cliché. The Bible says faith without work is dead. I will say Covenant University, without respect for the dignity of students, is no different from other universities.
“Where did the student affairs get the idea of shaving students’ hair off? This is one (Adeboye) of the leading fathers of faith in Africa, yet he keeps his hair…he is a king and heavily anointed and everyone agrees to that.
“This is one of Bishop Oyedepo’s full-fledged mentors, T.L. Osborn, on full-fledged Afro. He was still a king and a great preacher. Could we call him unkempt? How less bushy is Bishop Oyedepo’s hair in these pictures and was he less a king? If none could shave off his hair disgracefully, then why should it be done to students in his school? This is injustice.”
One Matthias Hungbo, who also claimed to be an alumnus, said there was nothing wrong with the students’ hair.
He said the shaving was in reaction to some students’ failure to take their Bibles for a service held the previous day.
“It’s appalling that people say keep to the rules and regulations, but in all honesty, there’s no rule as to what height of hair should be kept. It just says keep a low cut and the boys always keep their hair well. The management is just passing on its anger as a result of the embarrassment it faced in FT the previous day since some students didn’t bring Bibles. It is sad and even more sad because I feel nothing will be done about it,” he wrote on his Facebook wall.
A woman, who claimed to have studied Mass Communication at the school, Chimdimma Christiana, said some of its rules and regulations did not justify the vision of the school.
Another ex-student, Daniel Uzor, posted on Facebook that although he was proud of being a graduate of the university, he was disappointed at the shaving of the students’ hair.
“I don’t see how keeping of hair affects religious values or academic performance. No one is saying you shouldn’t uphold your values, but please, at least, accord people respect and dignity,” he added.
One Mo’Miss @Modupeee also tweeted that shaving people’s hair without their consent was an assault.
A Facebook user, Chidiebere Elendu, said the university’s management should be cautioned by the relevant authorities, noting that the school did not factor in health implications of using an “unsterilised” clipper for all the affected students.
He said, “What excuse will the school authorities give should these students contract some transmittable diseases from the barbing exercise? Sometimes, I can’t stop wondering if the same Christianity being practised today was the same as the one Christ and the apostles preached.”
However, some people defended the school’s action, saying the students were to blame for not complying with the rules and regulations.
One of them, Yaks, @Yaksnagu, said the students had no reason to complain as they were aware of the school’s rules.
He said, “A person should not be heard complaining about an injury to him dealt by another person, where that person volunteered himself to the risk of harm and knew that the injury dealt was a likely consequence of their dealings.”
One Kanye Waste,@iKantWaste, in his tweet, also defended the school, saying its action had nothing to do with Christianity.
“Those are their rules and regulations, and it is not by force to attend the institution,” he added.
Efforts to get the reaction of the school proved abortive as an official, Emmanuel Igban, who used to speak for the institution, said he was not in the position to comment on it.
He, however, promised to send the contact of the spokesperson to our correspondent but had yet to do so as of press time.
Calls put across to the numbers on the school’s website also rang out, while text messages sent by a source had yet to be replied to.