Ilorin Indigenes Seek Buhari’s Intervention On Hijab Controversy
The indigenes of Ilorin, under the aegis of Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), at the weekend appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene on the violence that trailed the wearing of Hijab in Kwara State in order to return Ilorin to its status as the town of peace and harmony.
Muslims and Christians in Ilorin recently locked horns together over the wearing of Hijab in the 10 public grant-aided schools in Ilorin.
The development, however, led to violence as members of both religions threw stones and pebbles at each other on the issue.
It took the quick intervention of security agencies in the state to restore normalcy before the crisis snowballed into a full blown religious crisis in the state.
Normalcy has since returned to some of the affected schools in Ilorin.
However, the National President of the IEDPU, Mr. Aliyu Uthman, stated that
we want to specifically asked President Buhari to prevail on the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) to allow the unique harmonious coexistence and peace in Ilorin.
Uthman explained that the union, in its characteristic manner of non-interference in governmental decisions, elected to be silent on the issue of wearing of Hijab by female Muslim students in the state while the state government was moving round the clock to resolve the complaints of some Christians on the issue.
However, the recent actions by the founders of the acquired schools showed that the current agitation must have been masterminded by individuals or groups who do not wish the state well. Hijab for willing Muslim girls should not be the basis for the current crisis.
To us, we do not see any reason (s) why Muslim pupils who are willing to put on the hijab along with their uniforms should be denied such fundamental right to manifest their religious leaning in public schools as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution.
We are very much aware of the constitutional rights of Nigerian citizens to pursue and practice any faith of their choice and to conduct themselves in accordance with the tenets of such religion.
The decision of an Ilorin High Court and the subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal affirming the right of the Muslim girl-child and indeed any Muslim female to adorn the Hijab in any public place in the country as entrenched in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are also in public domain,
He added that the IEDPU has noted with grave concern the threat of violence by some of the demonstrators against a legitimately issued directive of the constituted authorities in a bid to take the law unto their hands.