The Ogun State League of Imams and Alphas called on all female Muslim students in the state to start wearing hijab in public schools.
The development comes after their December meeting in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state.
The state’s Islamic leaders said the declaration for the wearing of hijabs in the state’s public schools came after a recent meeting with the state government on the need for their daughters to wear hijabs to complement their school uniforms.
The league said in a statement signed by its general secretary, Sheikh Tajudeen Adewunmi, on Tuesday that hijab wearing will begin on January 9, 2023, when students return for their second term.
The league also said that only “willing and willing Muslim female students may wear a white shoulder-length Hijab when they resume for the second term of the 2022-2023 academic session on Monday, January 9, 2023, and thereafter without no fear. of abuse or punishment.”
The statement read in part: “At the end of our December 2022 general meeting, where many issues concerning the welfare of the Ummah were discussed, we decided to express the opinion of the Muslim community (the Ummah) in the state regarding to the following problems:
“Many female Muslim students in Nigeria, particularly in Ogun State, have needlessly continued to appear in many protracted cases of violations of their rights in their pursuit to practice their religion, particularly in relation to the wearing of Hijab in schools.
“However, all doubts or controversies on the matter have been cleared by the ruling of the honorable judges of the Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which reaffirmed the rights of Muslim students in Nigerian schools to wear Hijab as they wish. . .
“It should also be noted that many Ogun State government agencies have consistently stated that there is no law prohibiting Muslim female students from wearing hijabs, despite the fact that Muslim female students who wear hijabs have always been beaten, shamed or humiliated in a variety of ways over the years.”
However, the league pleaded with the state government to warn teachers and school principals to stop depriving Muslim students of their human rights and accept approval of hijab wearing in schools.
The statement further said: “We call on the state government to warn overzealous and religiously intolerant school principals and teachers, as well as others who want to take the law into their own hands by preventing Muslim students who are willing to express their fundamental human right.
“The Muslim community had noted the previous intolerance and disdain of non-Muslim teachers and school principals towards Muslim students in this matter, including (but not limited to) abuse, bereavement of physical injury, and many other forms. of harassment. .”
Religious leaders also frowned at the shortage of Islamic Religious Knowledge teachers in the state’s public schools.
“Apart from the fact that Muslim students were deprived of the opportunity to learn Islamic studies in many schools in the state, it is most unfortunate, discouraging and, in fact, illegal (in the spirit and intent of the aforementioned provision of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) that Muslim students in some state schools in Ogun State are forced to offer Christian religious knowledge as a subject in schools.
“We take this opportunity to call on the state government and in particular the State Honorable Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology to urgently correct the anomaly by recruiting and deploying Islamic Studies teachers in schools around the world. the state to teach the subject.”
The state Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, could not be reached at the time of filing this report to confirm the statement.
Several calls made to his phone lines did not go through, and a text message sent to his line had not been responded to at the time of filing this report.