By Adebayo Fajinmi
It was a British statesman and philosopher, Edmund Burke who once said, “nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.” The indifference seemed to have risen as hijab controversy that has held Ilorin, Kwara State by the jugular for some times has failed to go to the state of rest some hours after the state government announced on Tuesday, the re-opening of the schools that were recently shut.
The affected schools are Cherubim and Seraphim (C&S) College, Sabo-Oke, St, Anthony’s Secondary School, Offa Road, ECWA School, Oja-Iya, Surulere Baptist Secondary School and Baptist Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam.
Others are CAC Secondary School, Asa Dam Road, St. Barnabas Secondary School, Sabo-Oke, John School, Maraba, St. Williams Secondary School, Taiwo-Isale and St. James Secondary School, Maraba.
TOS News gathered on Wednesday that, Muslim girls were denied access to Baptist Senior Secondary in Surulere area, by some Christians, an argument which led to a clash between the Christians and parents of the Muslim students.
Investigation by TOS News revealed that, the government, in February, ordered the temporary closure of 10 grant-aided secondary schools in Ilorin, the state capital, pending the resolution of the controversy in the schools.
Muslim leaders had earlier insisted that students should be allowed to use the hijab in accordance with the Constitution but their Christian counterparts said such negates the heritage of the missions, who built the schools.
However, after several peace meetings, the state government approved the use of hijab in February 26, in all public schools in the state and ordered the reopening of the affected schools on March 8 ( which was later reversed).
Secretary to the government, Mamma Sabah Jibril in a statement said, “Consequently, the government hereby acknowledges and approves the right of the Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab, and directs the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to come up with a uniform hijab for all public/ grant-aided schools, which will be the accepted mode of head covering in schools.”
But the decision did not go down well with the Christian leaders who kicked against it openly, insisting that they will not allow such in their mission schools.
They have also urged Christians “to occupy the schools” in protest of the government’s resolution.
While speaking, one of the Christian leaders expressed dissatisfaction that the Governor of Kwara State, Mr. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq was making a pronouncement over an issue that is still before the supreme court.
He furthered maintained that, as long as the state government will not respect the rule of law, the Christians will continue to defend their properties and faith.