A Professor of Law, University of Ilorin, Ibrahim AbdulQadir Abikan has lamented the dearth of responses from human rights activists and relevant bodies over the issue of the hijab that has been a subject of sharp disagreement between Christians and Muslims in Kwara State.
Abikan, who is the President of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) while speaking with Daily Trust on the issue specifically called out the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), top human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) and other civil right groups and activists in the country to jettison their silence so far on the matter and speak out on the issue.
“It is very highly disturbing and surprising that since this issue began, people like Femi Falana are yet to say anything about it when thousands of Muslims girls are being molested on the issue of hijab despite two court judgments,” he said.
“Also the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and other civil right groups who are promoters of rule of law in Nigeria have since kept mute. I think there is need for reappraisal of these actions on the issue if truly (NBA/activists) are promoters of rule of law in Nigeria.
He however clarified that he was yet to make official position on the issue on behalf of MULAN because the “response or otherwise of the NBA” will determine how MULAN would engage it.
Abikan, who is part of the defence team for the Muslims in the controversy, said Kwara Muslims and Christians have always lived in peace and harmony despite their religious differences and advised that the leadership of CAN should work to promote peaceful coexistence among Kwarans rather than promoting chaos in the state.
“As far as Muslims are concerned, the government is even slow to implement its present position on the issue waiting more than a year after the pronouncement of the court until when Muslims girls began to be molested”, he submitted.
Contacted to react to Abikan’s allegations, lead counsel to CAN and Christian School Proprietors, Barrister Akin Akintoye (SAN) told Daily Trust in his office that the matter is already in court and would not want to comment on it.