From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has rejected the recent approval by Kwara State government for students in Christian schools to wear hijab.
General Secretary of the organisation, Joseph Daramola, in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, said the action of Kwara Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq was premature and equally prejudicial.
Daramola asked Governor AbdulRazaq, to immediately withdraw the approval of wearing of hijab in Christian mission schools in the state.
He also condemned the action of some people allegedly sponsored by the state government who were moving from school to school to enforce the wearing of hijab, especially in secondary schools owned by Christian missions. Daramola urged the political elite to stop using their religious overzealousness in causing division in the society, but rather treat all equally, irrespective of religious and ethic affiliation.
“It appears to be contempt of court because the governor is aware of pending court case on the 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?”
“The action of the Kwara government is not only discriminatory and divisive, but equally suggests that the government is the one behind the earlier illegal enforcement of the wearing of hijab in Christian schools. While the government is at liberty to give directive on its own schools, it ought to respect the religious cultures of schools as well.
“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. Kwara Governor has, obviously, shown open bias for one religion with his inability to wait for court process to be concluded over this matter.”