People Politics

Christians, Muslims Clash In Kwara Over Hijab In Mission Schools

The Kwara State Government had earlier ordered the shutting of  ten schools on the 19th of February in the state, due to some crises that arose over the wearing of hijab.

Following the State Governor’s directive that the schools should be reopened, there has been a clash between Muslim and Christians on Wednesday in Ilorin .

According to reports, students that were on hijab were not allowed to enter the Baptist School, Surulere by some protesting Christians.

The Punch newspaper had reported that this led to an altercation between the Muslims and Christians, which eventually led to a clash that saw the Muslims and Christians throwing objects at themselves.

The Christians  who protested displayed placards with various inscriptions such as ‘No Hijab in Baptist Schools and all mission/grant-aided schools’, ‘Otoge, give us back our schools, among others.

Meanwhile, the State branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had made it known that, it would not agree to the use of hijab in schools established by Christian missions.

According to CAN , “The body condemns the use of Hijab in Christian Missions Grant Aided Schools as this will cause discrimination in schools and allow terrorists to easily identify our children and wards”.

Following the reopening of the schools, a statement signed by Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development had asserted that, “the government is convinced that its policy to allow willing Muslim schoolgirls to wear their hijab in public schools will lead to sustainable peace and communal harmony anchored on mutual respect and understanding”.

The statement added that, “This path to mutual respect, understanding, and peace with regards to hijaab had long been adopted in all of the northern Nigeria and many states in the Southwest such as Lagos, Osun, Ekiti, and Oyo States”.

The statement also read that, “The government sincerely commends the Christian and Muslim leaders for their understandings and their efforts to build peace within their respective communities in the past weeks. It urges everyone to join hands with the government to raise a generation of schoolchildren who will respect one another’s differences and together build a sustainable future for our state”.

“Finally, the government reminds all its employees such as school principals and teachers in the affected schools to take special note of the policy. There will be zero tolerance for violations of anyone’s fundamental human rights under their watch”, the statement warned.

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Esther Ifeoluwa

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