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MURIC Condemns Assault Of WAEC Female Candidate Over Use Of Hijab In Lagos


LAGOS, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has strongly condemned alleged assault of a female Muslim candidate (Khadijat Eniola Anisere) who is writing the ongoing West African Examinations Council (WAEC), describing it as “most bizarre, highly barbaric and totally deplorable”.

The teenager was allegedly assaulted by a female WAEC Supervisor at Egan Grammar School, Igando, a Lagos suburb, Friday, September 2, 2016 while candidates were taking Biology between 9.30 am and 12 noon.

MURIC in a statement issued Monday in Lagos by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola declared that the development was “a hate attack and a blatant act of Islamophobia” contending that the group considered it as part of a grand design to retard the progress of Muslim youths.

The statement alleged that Christian fanatics working in government agencies like WAEC have been instructed by hate preachers to create bottlenecks for Muslim youths by all possible means.

MURIC cited Section 38 (i) & (ii) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as not only granting freedom of religion but also stipulates its practice and manifestation, adding “Hijab is therefore a legally recognized head cover for female Muslims”.

Prof. Akintola restated that the supervisor’s order for the removal of the hijab was “unlawful, unconstitutional and therefore ultra vires”. He added that the action constituted assault in legal parlance.

“The Supervisor’s attack on Khadijah Anisere is a breach of Section 13 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act (1991) which provides ‘’a public officer shall not do or direct to be done, in abuse of his office, any act prejudicial to the rights of any person knowing that such act is unlawful or contrary to any government policy’’

“For whereas the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 4, Clause 1 & 2 affirm that “Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person”, the WAEC supervisor chose to derobe the innocent Muslim girl in public” the group declared.

Consequently, the organization demanded justice for the alleged victimized candidate, vowing that Nigerian Muslims would not fold their arms and watch their daughters dehumanized by Christian fanatics.

MURIC equally urged WAEC to identify the alleged “extremist supervisor” and discipline her, contending that character like her were responsible for series of religious crises that have resulted in loss of lives and destruction of properties worth billions of naira. It noted that what Nigeria needed most today is peace and stability, while public institutions could not afford to create unnecessary tension at this point in time.

The group asserted that justice is the soul of peace and whoever denies one can never enjoy the other.

“We therefore demand a public statement from WAEC on the supervisor’s identity and the official reprimand failing which WAEC should blame itself for the reaction of Muslims. Nigerian Muslims also want to know what palliative WAEC has in store for the innocent girl who was rudely disturbed during the Biology examination. Will she fail biology?

“We also appeal to the Federal Ministry of Education to restrain examination bodies from imposing anti-Muslim rules on registration guidelines.

“Here lies the real anatomy of terrorism and religious violence. Fanatical officials use their positions to victimize Muslims everyday in Nigeria. The natural corollary can only be likened to smoke from fire” it alleged.

In the meantime, the organization has appealed to Muslims in the country to remain calm and law abiding as WAEC and the Ministry of Education take steps to address the matter.

It also advocated for dialogue in place of “spontaneous or premeditated violence”, still, warned Muslim youths not to take the law into their hands.

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