The League of Imams and Alfas in Ogun State has asked “desiring and willing” female Muslim students in the state to start wearing Hijabs to public schools in the state when they resume for second term on January 9, 2023.
The pronouncement, according to the league, followed recent interactions with the state government and was made public in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Sheikh Tajudeen Adewunmi, on Tuesday.
The statement which was issued after the league’s December general meeting noted that “desiring and willing female Muslim students could adorn white colour shoulder length cape hijab as they resume for the second term of the 2022/2023 academic session on Monday 9th January, 2023 and henceforth without any fear of molestation or punishment.”
The group also pointed out that “all doubts or controversies on the matter have been put to rest by the pronouncement of the Honourable Justices of the Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which reaffirmed the rights of Muslim students in Nigerian schools to use hijab as they so wished.”
The Muslim Ummah called on the state government to warn teachers and school heads to desist from depriving Muslim female students their human rights and accept the approval of the use of hijab in schools.
“We request the state government to warn overzealous and religious intolerant individuals among school heads and teachers as well as others who might want to take laws into their own hands by preventing Muslim students who are willing to express their fundamental human right.
“The Muslim Community had noted the previous intolerance and disdain from non-Muslim teachers and heads of schools against Muslim students on this matter, which include (but not limited to) molestation, affliction of physical injury and many forms of harassment.
“The hitherto tolerance from Muslims has been taken for granted and the Muslim community will not hesitate to take necessary actions against any individual that could frustrate the desire and the efforts in the exercise of the rights of any Muslim in any form or guise,” the statement further read.
It also frowned at the compulsory teaching on Christian Religious Knowledge to all students in some public schools as well as the dearth of Islamic Religious Knowledge teachers in public schools.
While pointing out that the constitution made it clear that educational instructions should not be given to anyone on a religion other his/her own, the religious leaders asked the state government to deploy Islamic Studies teachers to schools across the state to teach the subject.
“We appeal to the state government to follow this up with necessary instructions to the heads of schools to make them understand that Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution identifies no state religion and as such they should all desist from any act(s) that could create religious animosity in the state.
“The League of Imams and Alfas and the entire Ummah in Ogun State appreciate and respect other religions and their adherents and will continue to do so for our peaceful coexistence and stable religious atmosphere in Ogun State especially because there is no compulsion in religion. Together we can sustain the state in its stead as a model among the comity of states in the country,” the statement added.