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Hijab Crisis: Violent Protest Prevents Resumption Of Schools In Kwara

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Violence and resistance Wednesday marred the reopening of the 10 grant-aided missionary schools closed down about a month ago, by the Kwara state government over the controversy that trailed the use of Hijab.

Recall that the schools were closed on Friday, February 19, 2021 over misunderstanding in the usage of Hijab (Islamic female veil) in public schools.

Following the row, the State government set up a committee to look into and resolve the dispute, as well as later asked the schools to resume on Monday, March 8, 2021 with willing female students to be allowed to use the Hijab.

Wednesday’s fracas was recorded at Surulere Baptist Secondary School where Christians were singing gospel songs, while Muslims were also chanting Arabic songs.

Also, the Christians carried placards with inscriptions such as:  “Give us back our schools”, “Enough of marginalisation”, while the muslims also had Arabic inscriptions on their placards bearing “Lahila Ilalahu Muhammadu Rosululah” (There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah).

As the songs deepened, the parties threw stones at each other while the police tried to disperse the crowd with teargas and firing of gunshots into the air.

It took the intervention of soldiers to disperse the crowd just as the school gate and sign posts were damaged.

President, Kwara Baptist Conference, Pastor Victor Dada, told newsmen that the state government did not respect the rule of law by making pronouncements over a case already at the Supreme Court.

“What transpired this morning is simply because the government led by Governor AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq is not respecting the rule of law and if the state government does not respect the rule of law, there will be chaos.

“A case that is in Supreme Court and judgment has not been given, the governor is making pronouncements.

“As long as the state government doesn’t respect the rule of law, we will defend our property and our faith.

“We will not allow Hijab in our school because this is a Christian mission school, let Kwara State government respect the rule of law,” Pastor Dada insisted.

Similarly, At C & S College, Sabo Oke, Christians were sighted carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “Kwara State is for all, not an Islamic state”, “We say no to Hijab” and “Our school is our heritage”.

While the procession lasted, the protesters prevented the students and teachers from entering the school premises.

The situation was the same at St. Anthony’s Secondary School, Offa road. There, teachers and students were also seen hanging around the school premises as the police, soldiers and Civil Defence personnel were seen trying to calm frayed nerves.

In the same vein, Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam, was shut with few students and security personnel seen around the premises.

The situation is however different at ECWA School Oja Iya, as academic activities have resumed as students were already seated in their classrooms.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=60844

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