Kwara Muslim & Christian Groups Disagree Over Peace Move

THE Kwara Muslim Stakeholders’ Forum and the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state have disagreed over an acceptable way to resolve the unending controversy over the use of the Hijab by Muslim female pupils in state missionary schools.

The two groups, at separate press conferences in Ilorin, the state capital; and Ijagbo, the epicenter of the recent crisis, blamed the government for its failure to implement the agreement reached in April 2021 on the resolution of the crisis.

Recall that one person died during a protest over the use of the Hijab at Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo, on Thursday while about 11 others sustained gunshot injuries.

The Kwara State Government shut down the college indefinitely as a result of the crisis.

But the two religious bodies called on the government to institute a high-powered commission of inquiry to unravel the masterminds behind the violence in Ijagbo.

Speaking on behalf of the Muslim Stakeholders’ Forum, its Chairman, Alhaji Isiaq Abdulkareem, alleged that some Muslim parents who were staging a protest to enforce the fundamental rights of their children were attacked by the Christians outside the gate of the school.

“About three weeks ago, Muslim female pupils were sent back by some members of the Christian Association of Nigeria and yesterday, some Muslim parents followed their children to the school to enforce their fundamental rights and while the peaceful protest was going on, some Christians attacked them and one of the parents of the Muslim pupils of the school, Habeeb Idris, was killed during the fracas that also left 11 parents injured.”

He suggested that the government should fully take over all grant-aided mission schools and enforce its policy on the wearing of the hijab by female Muslim students in all government grant-aided secondary schools.

But in his address, Reverend Samuel Ajayi who spoke on behalf of CAN at Ijagbo alleged that some Muslim fundamentalists were going around the local government areas to instigate other Muslims on the use of the hijab in missionary schools in the state.

Ajayi, who said that CAN had an MoU with the state government since June 2021 on the resolution of the hijab crisis which had not been implemented by the government, however, said, “It has been said times without number that we cannot and will not allow the use of the hijab in our missionary schools.

“The schools were not taken over by the state government in 1974. There was an agreement between the government and the school proprietors. Each has their own part to play in the running of the schools.”

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