We never agreed on usage of Hijab in our schools, says Kwara CAN

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Kwara state Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has said that it never signed any agreement with the state government allowing the use of hijab in all the grant-aided schools in the state.

The Christian body which urged the state government to bring perpetrators of the latest hijab protest to book also urged members in the state to remain calm, peaceful, and be law-abiding in the face of any provocation.

The association also said that the government’s inaction led to last week’s violence over the hijab controversy at Oyun Baptist High School (OBHS) Ijagbo, Oyun local government area of the state.

Recall that last Thursday one person was killed in a protest that turned bloody by parents of Muslims and Christians at the school gate of Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo .

CAN say this in a press release jointly issued by the Acting Chairman and Secretary  Bishop Sunday Adewole and Rev Dr. Reuben  Ibitoye respectively, made available to journalists in Ilorin on Sunday.

It  reads,” The unfortunate saga that occurred at Oyun Baptist High School (OBHS)
Ijagbo on 3rd February 2022 should have been averted if the State Government had yielded to CAN’s earlier appeal.

“It is noteworthy to mention that Kwara CAN have written a letter of appeal to the Executive Governor to urgently look into this matter, dated 25th January 2022, titled “The Ongoing Hijab Crisis at Oyun Baptist High School(OBHS) and Other Mission Schools in Oyun and Offa Local Government Areas: Calling for an Urgent Intervention”. 

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“The said letter was delivered and received at the State Government house. To the
surprise of the Christian Community the appeal was neglected and the matter unattended to by the State Government.

“To put the record straight precisely on 2nd February 2022, some Muslims fanatics with some Muslims female students of OBHS Ijagbo staged a protest in Ijagbo town and later came to Ilorin to continue the protest at the Government house chanting slogan like “no school tomorrow except with Hijab” and the following day  (i.e. 3rd February 2022) they were mobilized with dangerous weapons to unleash mayhem on the innocent Christian proprietors; these weapons were freely used by these fundamentalists.

“The report at our disposal indicates that an innocent passerby was also attacked and macheted by these Muslim fanatics. The individual was not a Christian as wrongfully claimed by some individuals. The fellow reappeared, reinforced with his fellow thugs, and retaliated, this led to the serious fracas with the Muslim protesters. It was the timely intervention of the security agents that restored normalcy at the School gate.

“Consequently, we reiterate for the umpteenth time that at no time did Kwara CAN and stakeholders sign/concede to any agreement or policy with the Kwara State Government on the use of Hijab as it is being claimed by the Honourable Commissioner of  Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Sa’aadatu Modibo Kawu. 

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“The usage of  hijab in Christian Missions schools in Ilorin metropolis was forcefully
implemented and imposed.

“Unfortunately, the Commissioner of Education and Human Capital Development is undiplomatic in her ways of handling the matter at Stake. Her action continued to generate religious tension and she was not proactive enough when an earlier protest was staged on the 2nd February 2022 by some Muslim fanatics.

“Perhaps a prompt response would have rescued this ugly situation.

“The Kwara CAN’s efforts to sit and reason with the government on how to foster a lasting peace on the issue is yet to yield any result.

“As Christians you are all urged to remain calm, peaceful, and be law-abiding in the face of any provocation, believing that all issues will be resolved soonest. The perpetrators of this heinous crime that occurred at OBHS Ijagbo should be made to face the full wrath of the law.”


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By Kalu Odinakachi
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