From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has warned authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile Ife, to desist from any act that may set Osun State on fire.
The society particularly warned the Principal of the school of Nursing and Midwifery OAUTHC, to desist from harassing female Muslim students of the school over the use of hijab.
A statement by the Amir, Abdul Jeleel A. Arikewuyo, Secretary, Abdul Wakeel O. Akanni and PRO of the MSSN, Saheed A. Raji, said the threat and subsequent labelling of the students as extremists because they covered their heads was unconstitutional.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is instructive to emphasize that Mrs Awoseemo not only labelled the faithful sisters as an extremist for covering up their heads as required of them by their religion, an act which found its acceptance in the Nursing and Midwifery Council guidelines, as well as the Constitution.
“The overzealous Nursing Tutor went a step further to force the female Muslim students to sign an undertaking to remove their Hijabs or get rusticated, an order she was quoted to have emanated from the hospital authority at Ile Ife.
“It is pertinent to remind Mrs Awoseemo that the school, being funded by taxpayers money remain one of the properties of the Federal government, and she’s only a Principal at the instance of the government and not of her church, thus her radical attempt to evangelise the students under her care, by all means, forms, and ways are hereby noted and by this medium brought to her employer’s and the general public attention.
“May we state that Mrs Awoseemo’s dangerous flight, and crude attempt, from all intent and purposes, is an attempt to undermine the fundamental rights to freedom of Religion of the Muslim Students’ of the institution, and a clear dissonance and fragrant disobedience to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s guidelines and above all, to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Like Mrs Awoseemo, we have also been briefed of how members of staffs of Christian faith have subjected our members at Ilesa campus (Wesley Guild Hospital Unit)of the institution to ridicule, coercion, undeserved punishments and expulsion threats for insisting on the usage of Hijab. These acts from our tormentors who are fast to tagged and labelled us fanatics have made us believe they may be truly enjoying the backing of the quoted authority to undermine the rights of our members, despite the glaring instances of acceptance of its usage by the Nursing and Midwifery Council as well as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“May we also state that a school of coordinate jurisdiction named School of Nursing Osogbo has since confirmed with the Nursing Council guidelines on the use of Hijab and both Mrs Awoseemo and Mrs Fatoye can borrow a leaf from them.
“While we remain a peace-loving people, an adherent of the gospel of truth and peace, we will strongly deplore any attempt to trample upon our members’ rights as citizens of this country from any quarters.
“It is pertinent for Mrs Awoseemo, Mrs Fatoye, their deputies and members of staff to know that we shall explore all lawful and legal means to resist any attempt by anyone, group and or groups who may be sabotaging the efforts of our members to enjoy their inalienable rights.”