The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called out the Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq over the recent policy by his administration on the wearing of hijab by female students in public schools.
AllNews Nigeria recalls that the Kwara State government had recently ordered that all Muslim female students in public schools including Christian grant-aided schools in the state must be allowed to wear hijab as part of their uniforms.
The directive has however generated a lot of controversies with the to government officials, Christian body in the state including the proprietors of such grant-aided schools firmly rejecting the position of the state government.
They described the policy as a move to technically Islamize affected schools.
The national CAN leadership led by Supo Ayokunle has also meddled in the matter and called on the Governor to immediately reverse his order on the use of hijabs.
CAN in a statement on Tuesday signed by its general secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola questioned the hasty decision by the state government, reminding it that the matter is already in court.
The statement accused the Adulrazaq-led government in Kwara of openly displaying and encouraging religious bias.
The Christian umbrella body, therefore, called on the state government to reverse its earlier pronouncement which approved the blanket use of hijabs and stop encouraging religious division.
The statement reads: “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked the Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq to immediately withdraw his government’s approval of wearing of Hijab in schools in Kwara State including Christian Mission schools.”
“This advice is necessary because we see the action of the Governor of the state as premature and equally prejudicial. It appears to be a contempt of the court because the governor is aware that there is a pending court case on this matter over which the court had earlier ruled that the status quo should be maintained.”
“Is the government now saying that he is above the law? What is going to spoil if we all wait for the court to pronounce judgement on the matter? Why this hasty action?”
“We recalled that some people took laws into their hands in the state by going from school to school to be enforcing the wearing of hijab in secondary schools including the schools owned by mission agents but are only grant-aided by the government.”
“Instead of the government to caution such trouble makers and admonish them to wait for the court process to be concluded and judgement delivered, the government of Kwara State has shown its religious bias by the blanket approval of the wearing of the hijab, even in Christian Mission Schools.”
“This action of the government of Kwara State is not only discriminatory and divisive, but it equally suggests that the government was the one behind the earlier illegal enforcement of the wearing of hijab in Christian schools.”
“While the government may give directive on its own schools, it ought to respect the schools it does not directly own nor started and respect the religious cultures of such schools as well.”
“We urge the political elites to stop using their religious overzealousness in causing division in the society but rather treat all equally irrespective of religious and ethnic affiliation.”
“If we would all do pilgrimage together, there must be fairness to all, mutual respect and justice. No political leader should use his or her position to further the cause of any particular religion or ethnic group in order for peace to prevail.”
“The Governor of Kwara State has shown an open bias for one religion with his inability to wait for the court process to be concluded over this matter.”
“CAN has resolved to use all lawful means to reverse the order if the government refused to withdraw the directive.”