Kwara: Violence Over Hijab As Gov Ignores CAN’s Warning, Reopens Christian Schools

The Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led Kwara state Government has again approved the wearing of hijab by Muslim schoolgirls in Christian missionary schools in the state.

The move, according to reports, triggered a violent clash between Christian and Muslim residents of the state on Wednesday.

Nairalovers had reported that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had warned that Governor AbdulRazaq’s endorsement of hijab-wearing in the schools could spark religious violence in the state.

CAN, which noted that there was a pending court case on the matter, had vowed to use all lawful means to reverse the directive if the governor should fail to heed its call.

The controversy had led Governor AbdulRazaq to order the closure of the schools pending resolution of the matter between the relevant stakeholders.

But the Kwara State Government, on Wednesday, announced the reopening of the schools while peace-building efforts on the matter were still ongoing.

A statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, also noted that the statement had not reneged on its approval of hijab-wearing in the Christian schools.

“The closure of the schools became necessary to forestall security breaches which may affect lives and properties.

“The government is convinced that its policy to allow willing Muslim schoolgirls to wear their hijab in public schools will lead to sustainable peace and communal harmony anchored on mutual respect and understanding.

“This path to mutual respect, understanding and peace with regards to hijab had long been adopted in northern Nigeria and many states in the Southwest such as Lagos, Osun, Ekiti and Oyo States,” the statement read in part.

The development led to the clash between some Christian and Muslim residents at the Baptist Secondary School, Ilorin.

Channels TV reports that Muslim and Christian faithful threw stones, plastic chairs, and other objects at each other over the state government’s insistence that Muslim schoolgirls could wear Hijabs to classrooms.

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