Muslims and Christians in Kwara clashed for the second time in less than a week over the raging issue of hijab that has engulfed the province, throwing stones and other weapons at one another.
The incident, which occurred at the Cherubim and Seraphim School in Sabo-Oke, drew officers and men from the Kwara state police command, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Nigerian Army, who were mobilised to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
According to reports, the trouble began when Christians argued that, in accordance with government directives, female students wearing hijab should not be allowed into the school, an action that was rebuffed by Muslims who attempted to gain access to the school.
Students and teachers were barred from entering the school, according to one of the students, Ibrahim Nurudeen, who spoke to our correspondent.
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Meanwhile, most of the other nine affected schools have resumed regular academic activities, with both students and teachers entering the schools with little opposition from the school administration.
Abdulrahman Abdulmumin, a Muslim activist and chairman of the Muslim Society of Nigeria (MSSN), who said he was at Baptist Secondary School to ensure that the school followed the government’s order on the wearing of the hijab, said Muslims must ensure that justice is served and peace is preserved at the end of the saga.
Ajayi Okasanmi, the state’s police public relations officer, said the timely intervention of men from the command nipped the situation in the bud, adding that normalcy had since been restored to the metropolis’ schools and business communities.
Meanwhile, the state government announced on Monday that it was making progress toward her target, just as some students reportedly resumed classes while wearing hijab.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the National Assembly leadership to put on hold a bill in the House of Representatives that seeks to formalise the use of hijab in Nigeria, claiming that it is both ill-timed and uncalled for.
“We wonder what the sponsors of the bill hope to gain, other than compounding the security issue and the wearing of hijab in public and Christian schools,” CAN general secretary Joseph Bade Daramola said in a statement on Monday. To be frank, it is not the wearing of hijab that is our issue; it is the legislation regulating its wearing in private schools, especially those whose owners have different cultural backgrounds.”
Meanwhile, the CAN has condemned the attempted assassination of Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, and has demanded that the perpetrators be investigated, arrested, and prosecuted.
Bishop Francis Wale Oke, president of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), cautioned the governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdul-Raman Abdulrasaq, not to set the country on fire with the hijab crisis currently engulfing the state on Monday.
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