The Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to allow peace in Kwara over the lingering hijab crisis rocking the state.
The group at a press conference in Ilorin on Saturday held at its secretariat further noted what it described as the conspicuous silence of members of the human rights community over the matter despite two pronouncements by the court in favour of Muslims
National President of IEDPU, Aliyu Otta Uthman who addressed the gathering said the recent action by founders of the acquired schools showed that the current agitation over the issue must have been masterminded by individuals or groups who do not wish the state well, adding that hijab for willing Muslim girls should not be the basis for the ongoing disagreement.
Uthman further queried the destruction of mosques in two of the affected schools, Bishop Smith Memorial College and St. Anthony Secondary School and called on the government and law enforcement agencies to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.
”We use this opportunity to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on CAN to all allow the unique harmonious coexistence and peace for which the people of Ilorin are well known to subsist.
”To us, we do not see any reason(s) why Muslim pupils who are willing to put on hijab along with their uniforms will be denied such fundamental rights to manifest their religious learning in public schools as guaranteed by the constitution.
”We have noted with grave concern the threat of violence by some of the demonstrators. If such individuals could resist a legitimately issued directive of the constituted authorities and take laws unto their hands, one gets more worried about the safety of lives and property.
”Hijab is being worn in public places and educational institutions in Lagos, Oyo, Osun and even UK, France and other western countries from which those churches originated. Christianity does not abhor proper covering of the female head. Why are students prevented from pursuing their learning just because they prefer to dress properly and decently”, he submitted.
He appealed to politicians across all divides and their supporters to avoid politicization of the issue.
The IEDPU national president while noting that these are trying times for Ilorin Emirate reiterated that as the host community, the union will continue to pursue and explore all avenues of dialogue to arrive at a lasting peace over the matter and thanked the state government, security agencies and other stakeholders for their efforts so far on the issue.
Source:- Daily Trust