By Daniel Tyokua
The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked the Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, to immediately withdraw his approval of wearing of Hijab in schools, including Christian Mission schools.
CAN in a statement signed on Tuesday, by the Secretary-General, Rev. Joseph Daramola, the Christian umbrella body described the governor’s position as divisive and 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.
“Is the governor now saying that he is above the law? What is going to spoil if we all wait for the court to pronounce judgement on the matter? Why this hasty action?
“We recalled that some people took laws into their hands in the state by going from school to school to be enforcing the wearing of hijab in secondary schools including the schools owned by mission agents but are only grant-aided 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 hijab, even in Christian Mission Schools”
The statement said the Governor’s act 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.
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.
“We urge the political elites to stop using their religious overzealousness in causing division in the society but rather treat all equally irrespective of religious and ethic affiliation. If we would all do pilgrimage together, there must be fairness to all, mutual respect and justice. No political leader should use his or her position to further the cause of any particular religion or ethnic group in order for peace to prevail”.