Hijab controversy: Kwara govt withdraws re-opening order for 10 schools

AS the controversy surrounding the use of  hijab in missionary schools rages on, Kwara State government has withdrawn the reopening order earlier given to 10 grant-aided secondary institutions in the state.

In a statement signed by Kemi Adeosun, permanent secretary of Kwara State Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development on Monday, the schools were asked to remain shut until a later date, due to security reasons.

“This decision has been taken for safety reasons. The government, therefore, directs school children and teachers in the affected schools to remain at home until the contrary is announced. The government remains committed to fairness, pluralism, and respect for the law and rights of every citizen at all times,” the statement read in part.

The ICIR had reported in February that the state government had closed down schools owing to the controversy surrounding the use of Muslim veil, known as hijab, by Muslim students in Christian missionary schools. The schools involved were:  C&S College Sabo Oke; ST. Anthony College, Offa Road; ECWA School, Oja Iya; Surulere Baptist Secondary School; Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam; CAC Secondary School Asa Dam Road, and St. Barnabas Secondary School Sabo Oke. Others included:  St. John School Maraba; St. Williams Secondary School Taiwo Isale, and St. James Secondary School Maraba.

A committee was set up to look into the crisis going on in the school. Weeks after, Kwara State government approved the use of hijab in missionary schools in the state.



    However, Christian leaders in the state have insisted that the government’s position over the matter cannot stand.

    The Christian leaders from Baptist Conference and Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) said, in separate press conferences held in Ilorin, Kwara State, last week, that government’s position was one-sided .

    “We want to warn the government that the step it wants to take by approving the use of hijab for all public schools and grant-aided schools will lead to an avalanche of reactions, the end of which no one can predict.

    “By this move, the state government is saying the Muslims’ purported rights are superior to that of the Christians,” Victor Dada, president of Kwara Baptist Conference, had said.

    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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