CAN rejects Hijab in Kwara schools

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, to immediately withdraw his approval of hijab-wearing by female students in the state, especially in Christian mission schools.

The demand was made in a statement issued by Joseph Daramola, General Secretary of CAN, on Tuesday.

EduCeleb.com earlier reported the forceful removal of hijab on some female Muslim students in ten former mission schools, which government had been controlling since 1974 sparked the ongoing controversy two weeks ago.

The state government directed the closure of the schools as the resistance to the use of hijab persisted.

It maintained that contrary to the claim of the Christians who established the schools that these were mission schools, it owned them.

It therefore ordered that Hijab use be maintained in the said schools by Muslim girls.

But CAN described the action by the governor as premature and prejudicial, claiming the governor is aware of a case pending in court over the matter wherein the judge had ruled that the status quo should be maintained.

The statement read: “We ask the Governor of Kwara State, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to immediately withdraw his government’s approval of wearing of hijab in schools within the state, including Christian Mission schools.

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“This advice is necessary because we see the action of the Governor of the state as premature and equally prejudicial. It appears to be a contempt of the court because the governor is aware that there is a pending court case on this matter over which the court had earlier ruled that the status quo should be maintained.

“We note how some people took the laws into their hands in the state by going from school to school to enforce the wearing of hijab in secondary schools, including the schools owned by mission agents but are only granted aid by the government.

“Instead of the government to caution such trouble makers and admonish them to wait for the court process to be concluded and judgement delivered, the government of Kwara State has shown its religious bias by the blanket approval of the wearing of the hijab, even in Christian Mission Schools.

“This action of the government of Kwara State is not only discriminatory and divisive, but it equally suggests that the government was the one behind the earlier illegal enforcement of the wearing of hijab in Christian schools.”

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The directive, according to CAN, should have been only for schools directly owned by the state and not including the ones being run by the Christian missionary.

It also accused the state of being biased to one religion and vowed to use all legal means to reverse the order.

“While the government may give directive on its own schools, it ought to respect the schools it does not directly own, nor started and respect the religious cultures of such schools as well.

“The Governor of Kwara State has shown an open bias for one religion with his inability to wait for the court processes to be concluded over this matter.

“CAN has resolved to use all lawful means to reverse the order if the government refused to withdraw the directive,” the statement read.

CAN warned politicians against using their positions to foment unnecessary religious and ethnic divisions in the state but rather treat all parties with respect.

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