Osun State Muslim Community has vowed to ensure the use of Hijab (head cover) by Muslim female students in public schools in the state through all constitutional means at its disposal.
The state branch of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had at a recent press conference in Osogbo accused the Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration of systemic islamisation of the state through its programmes and activities since its inception.
But their Muslim counterparts stated that there was no going back in their demands adding that it was their inalienable right to demand for the use of hijab by their female children in all the publicly owned institutions in the state.
The Muslim Community’s position was contained in a communiqué signed by the Chief Imam of Iwoland, Sheik Mudathir Ajao Akinola, at the end of the public awareness programme tagged “Know your right, know your religion” organized by the Muslim Community of Iwoland.
The communiqué reads in part “the entire Muslim Community of Iwoland hereby state our position on the current agitation for the use of hijab by muslim students in public secondary schools in the state and believe that all public schools in the state belongs to the government.
“Muslim students have an unconditional right to their religion and a right to manifest the religion either in the private or in the public as provided for in the Sections 38 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We believe that the purported Guidelines on Administration and Discipline in Osun State Public schools is in contravention to the above cited provision of the constitution.
“We believe that the said Guideline is grossly biased against Muslim students as it seeks to protect the right of the Christians in the so called Muslim schools while it stripes Muslims of their rights in both Muslim and the so called Christian and community (public) schools.
“We are peace lovers and against any violent agitations hence the need for this public awareness and enlightenment programme to avoid misinformation and mis-guidance.
“We demand fairness and justice from the government of the State of Osun, as regard the right of Muslim students to wear Hijab in public schools as being conferred on them by the relevant section of the constitution”.
BY TIMOTHY AGBOR/ OSOGBO