The CEO of a Chinese firm, Yiwu Baolian Import and Export Company Limited, Fanni Lijuan, has been accused of sacking some of their colleagues who refused to practise Buddhism.
The employees told PUNCH Metro that Lijuan, who introduced Buddhism at the company’s office on Irede Road, Abule Osun, in the Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, allegedly compelled them to bow to worship her Buddha, adding that those who refused were being sacked.
One of the employees, who identified himself simply as Olaniyi said: “The issue is that Fanni Lijuan brought Buddhism to the office; she puts us in front of a projector that showed us how to practise Buddhism and we were asked to bow to the teacher. They also read some books to us, but before reading, we were asked to bow three times.
“Employees who refused to bow have been sacked; in fact, last week Monday, they sacked two people and the company’s excuse was that it was restructuring and it did not need the affected workers’ services anymore.
The workers were sacked because they refused to bow down; and after the company sacked them, the management threatened other employees that if we did not bow to the teacher, we would be similarly sacked.”
One of the sacked employees, who asked to remain anonymous, alleged that Lijuan introduced Buddhism in 2017.
The former employee said, “Our madam started this Buddhism practise in the office last year; she started by giving us lectures and asked us to be taking notes. We also listened to voices we didn’t know. Recently, she got to the stage of asking us to bow, but I refused. So, she gave me one month’s salary and sacked me and some others.
“When they laid me off, I was not bothered because I am not ready to bow to anything other than God. Even if she didn’t sack me, I would have quit. But the danger is that some workers have already compromised; they have bowed because they don’t want to be sacked; and now, they are working in fear.
“This is bad; we can’t be in our country and be treated like that. In Nigeria, nobody can force you to worship their gods. It is only in Nigeria that a foreigner will come to do something like that. The reason you still have some people in that company is because there are no jobs outside there; we are suffering.”
When newsmen visited Yiwu Baolian Import and Export Company Limited, on Plot 36 Irede Road, Abule Osun, Ojo, Lagos, Lijuan denied introducing Buddhism in the company, adding that she wanted the employees to bow as a sign of humility, because they were arrogant.
She stated that she never sacked anyone because of religion, adding that she had fostered harmony among different religions.
Lijuan said, “I never introduced Buddhism; they are just lying. What I observed is that some of the workers are very arrogant; even their body language shows that they are not respectful. So, we are learning some ways of living; humility and respect; and what I want them to do is a sign of humility – bow your body and stop being arrogant.
“I did not sack anyone because they did not bow; it is totally wrong. I never told anyone to leave Christianity or Islam to practise any other religion. We have Christians and Muslims in the company; I am a Buddhist and I want to create harmony among the different religions; that’s what I want to do in this company.”
Source: Punch Metro