Christians, Muslims clash in Kwara school over hijab

School girls in hijab [Picture used for illustrative purpose]
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There was a mild fracas at the Surulere Baptist School in Ilorin on Wednesday as Christian staff of the school defied the directive by the Kwara State government asking the ten former mission schools closed down over hijab issue to resume classes.

Expectedly, Muslim schoolgirls who resumed for classes in their hijab dress code were stopped by the Christian staff of the school which provoked the girls and their parents on ground.

The verbal exchange which followed between the Muslim parents and the Christian staff soon turned into exchange of dangerous objects including stones between the two parties.

Security operatives who were called in, had to use teargas to disperse the rowdy scene before bringing the situation under control.

School pupils who resumed for classes, parents and teachers had to scamper for safety amid rains of teargas by the security operatives.

The situation was calm at St James School, Maraba and C&S College, Sabo Oke, but no pupil or student was allowed to enter the schools as they remained under lock and key in defiance of the state government’s directive.

However, gathered that the situation at St Barnabas LGEA School, Lajonrin Street, Sabo Oke became tense at about 11 a.m as pupils and teachers were chased out of the school premises with pupils jumping out of the windows.

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A source claimed that the resistance by the Christian community of the resumption of the ten schools started at ECWA primary school, Oja Iya around 7a.m, with a protest before spreading to Surulere Baptist School.

Kwara gives update

The Kwara State government on Wednesday confirmed that some mission schools closed down in Ilorin over Hijab controversy have welcomed Muslim students who have chosen to wear the head cover to school.

A government statement in Ilorin by the governor’s spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye, said “Kwara has once again proven to be the state of harmony as authorities in many of the affected schools welcomed Muslim students who have chosen to wear hijab and others who wore berets.

“Government is handling the situation in a few others where there were challenges in the morning.

“Calm has returned and the government continues to engage all stakeholders on the need to tolerate one another,” the government statement added.

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