For the second time in less than one week, Muslims and Christians in Kwara returned to the trench over the raging issue of hijab that has engulfed the state, throwing stones and other weapons at one another.
The incident, which occurred at the Sabo-Oke parish of the Cherubim and Seraphim School, attracted the combined efforts of officers and men of the Kwara state police command, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigerian Army, who were mobilised to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
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It was gathered that trouble started when the Christians insisted that female students wearing hijab should not be allowed into the school premises in line with the government directive, an action that was rejected by the Muslims, who attempted to gain entrance into the school premises.
One of the students, Ibrahim Nurudeen, who spoke to our correspondent, said students and teachers were prevented from entering the school premises.
Meanwhile, normal academic activities have commenced in most of the other nine affected schools as both students and teachers entered the schools with little resistance from the school management.
A Muslim activist and chairman of the Muslim Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Abdulrahman Abdulmumin, who said that he was at Baptist Secondary School to ensure that the school obeyed the government directive on the wearing of Hijab, said Muslims would ensure that justice is achieved and peace maintained at the end of the whole saga.
Speaking on the development, the police public relations officer in the state, Ajayi Okasanmi, said the prompt intervention of men of the command nipped the situation in the bud, saying that normalcy had since been returned to schools and business communities in the metropolis.
Meanwhile, the state government on Monday said it was gradually achieving its aim, just as some students reportedly resumed classes while Muslim female students were in hijab.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the leadership of the National Assembly to suspend the bill before the House of Representatives seeking to institutionalise the use of hijab in the country, saying it is ill-timed and uncalled for.
The general secretary of the CAN, Joseph Bade Daramola, said in a statement on Monday that, “We wonder what the sponsors of the bill seek to gain, other than compound the security problem and the wearing of hijab in public and Christian schools.
“Candidly speaking, it is not the wearing of hijab that is our problem, it is the legislation of the wearing of it in private schools, especially schools which proprietors have different culture.”
Meanwhile, the CAN has condemned the assassination attempt on the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, charging the security agencies to investigate, arrest and prosecute the masterminds.
The president of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Francis Wale Oke, on Monday warned the Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdul-Raman Abdulrasaq not to set the country on fire with the hijab crisis currently rocking the state.
By Mumini AbdulKareem (Ilorin), Abbas Jimoh (Abuja) & Jeremiah Oke (Ibadan)