Sunday 5th February 2023

Southwest CAN chief calls for peace in Osun

The Chairman, Southwest Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Magnus Atilade has called for reconciliation, peace and harmony between CAN and Muslim community in Osun State for development to be realised.
Atilade, who gave the advice in a chat with Southwest Report in Lagos said all hands must be on deck so as to achieve peace in Osun State without which there would be no tangible development.
The cleric praised the efforts of Governor Rauf Aregbesola in providing free food to all students in public schools, building of new schools, new roads and extension of new roads which are praiseworthy.
He stressed that the church is not against the wearing of Hijab by Muslim girls because Catholic Rev. Sister wear it. He, however, said the school as an institution should promote uniformity which is why every school has a uniform to identify it.
On all schools being public, he said: “The mission schools established by the missionaries and other private school proprietors were forcibly taken over by the state governments.

“Ultimately our prayer is that the schools be returned to their original owners just as the former  Governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu did in Lagos.
“It is evident that no government can conveniently run public institutions. Why should government insist on taking over of schools?
“All over the world, no government,  be it capitalists, socialists or communists, has the sole responsibility of providing education for its people,” he said.
He lamented the non-payment of salaries by 28 state governments, saying it is pertinent for government to hand over mission schools to their original owners.

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HIJAB: Aregbesola’s neutrality doused tension over court ruling — Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo  weekend commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State for his neutrality in the crisis in the state following recent court ruling permitting the use of female head scarf “hijab” in Osun State  public schools.
june 12
Obasanjo, who was the chairman of the occasion at the  handover ceremony of a multi-purpose hall and a library donated by Senator Yinka Omilani to Ode-Omu community stated that the recent utterances of Aregbesola on the court verdict on hijab had doused tension in the state.
Osun hijab crisis Aregbesola had at the wake of the controversy that trailed the order allowing the use of hijab, denied ordering the use of hijab in schools because he did not order his wife and daughter to use hijab.
Obasanjo, who was represented by Gbaabile of Egbaland, Dr. Femi Majekodunmi, said the statement from the governor confirmed his neutrality in the conflict over the use of hijab by female Muslim students in public schools in the state.
He said, “He (Obasanjo) is in China now. He said the governor (Aregbesola) said something which confirmed his neutrality in the matter; that word went a long way in dousing the tension which recently heightened in the state.”
Obasanjo described the donor, Senator Omilani, a former Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South West, as a great philanthropist, noting that his contribution to his community, Osun State and Nigeria at large could never be overlooked. He urged the community to make judicious use of the facilities which he described as a significant legacy.
Speaking, Aregbesola reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to improving infrastructure in nooks and crannies of the state regardless of the current economic situation. He announced that the ongoing construction of Gbongan/Ode-Omu dual-carriageway would be completed before the end of the year.
The Governor attributed the slow-pace of work at various construction sites and projects by his administration to the effect of fall in the revenue accruing to the state, assuring that all the ongoing projects in the state would be completed before the end of his tenure.
He lauded Senator Omilani for his kind gestures, calling on other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate him, noting that no matter how committed government was, it could not do everything and called for support from the privileged and wealthy individuals in the society.
On his part, the donor of the library,  Senator Omilani attributed the construction of the ultra modern library and multi-purpose hall as part of his commitments towards the development of education and Ode-Omu community.
Omilani said the provision of supplementary readers in schools and public libraries was one way of expanding the horizon of knowledge and acquisition of life-long skill, saying the act would save the teeming youths from idleness and juvenile delinquency.

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Osun hijab crisis: S-West Islamic body advises CAN, Muslim leaders

Following the crisis that trailed the wearing of Hijab by female Muslim students in Osun State, the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria, MUSWEN, has advised on the Osun State Chapter, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), to respect the court ruling or seek legal redress if not satisfied with the judgement.
Addressing newsmen, executive secretary of MUSWEN, Professor Dawud O. S. Noibi maintained that the court ruling does not compel all Muslim students to wear hijab adding that “resort to self help will ultimately help nobody.”
Noibi said: “Our Advice to CAN in Osun State in view of the foregoing, is to deeply consider the advice which one of the most respected Christian leaders in Nigeria, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, offered at a recent round-table on Law and Religion.
‘’His Grace said the nation should adopt the policy that no law should prohibit what religion prescribes or require citizens to do what religion prohibits.
‘’The Osun State chapter of CAN should learn a lesson from this advice. Besides, on purely moral grounds, one may ask: how does a Muslim girl’s wearing of hijab offend a Christian? Moreover, the court ruling does not compel all Muslim students to wear hijab. It is left entirely to the choice of the individual student who wishes to obey the order coming from her Creator.”
The MUSWEN  scribe further urged the leadership of CAN in Osun State to seek legal redress if not satisfied with judgment. He said; “The CAN leadership must be told that what they are doing in this case is challenging the directive of Allah.
Do they really feel comfortable preventing people from doing the Will of God on earth as it is done in heaven? If, however, CAN still feels strongly about the judgement, let them follow the commendable example of the Muslims of Lagos State by following the path of law.”

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CAN HIJAB BE A PART OF UNIFORM? – Adekunle Al Miftau Adeite

As the conversation on the actions of the Osun State Chapter of CAN continues, various perspectives and remarks are coming into play. Interestingly, Interestingly, ‘westerns-style’ education’ and ‘uniforms’ seems to be common parallels being used to justify positions. Therefore, the below is a review of the Hijab practices in those ‘Western Countries’.
1. In America, Hijab wearing is protected under the constitutional right to freedom of religion. Any school that violates this right can come under federal lawsuit. Organizations like the Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) make sure that religious rights in schools are respected as well as make sure that schools do not endorse any religions. It can be a fine line. In addition to protecting the rights of girls to wear hijab it also allows for other religious articles such as the Jewish yarmulke or jewelry with the Star of David. It also protects the rights of Christians to wear the cross. It also guarantees that reasonable accommodations be made for students religions. So Muslims wanting to make their 5 daily prayers must be allowed to pray in school. However, schools can make certain requirements about a student’s hijab. For example, schools that require uniforms can require that a hijab be a specific color. Nursing and Medical schools can require that a hijab be a specific color (usually white) and that it be tight fitting and must be tucked into a shirt so that there are no ends hanging which could transfer diseases from one patient to another.
2. In Quebec, Canada, Emilie Ouimet, a 13-year-old high school student, was sent home from school for wearing the Hijab. The primary reason given by the principal was that the school had a strict code that forbade the use of caps or attire that would distinguish students from their peers – part of a dress code for disciplinary reasons. Soon after, a debate raged for months through Quebec society.
The parents of Dania Bali, a straight-A student who was asked to remove her Hijab filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission. The Commission made a landmark ruling that turned the tide: Quebec schools did not have the right to prohibit any student from wearing religious attire (be it a Sikh turban, a Jewish yarmulke, a Christian cross, or Islamic Hijab).
More importantly, Quebec society was asked to consider the issues of religious pluralism in the emerging “global village”. The Quebec Charter of Rights guaranteed religious freedom, and no school administrator or employer could take that right away.
3. The Metropolitan Police in London has accepted Hijab as a uniform option for Muslim women serving in the force. The announcement was made at a conference on the theme of “Protect and Respect: Everybody’s Benefit”. The move is seen as a further sign of official acceptance of Britain as a religiously diverse society where faith-related accommodations should be made for all individuals.
4. In Scotland, the Police introduced a hijab to its uniform in an effort to attract more Muslim women to a force which is failing to reflect the diversity in the country’s population.
5. In Minnesota, Kadra Mohamed, (in the attached photo) became Minnesota’s first hijab wearing police woman and the first Somali female officer. Kadra Mohamed is only 21 years old and already making history.
We can go on and on with examples from Western Countries you want to tell us our education is styled after. You have also seen that Hijab can also be a part of a uniform too.
Aregbesola may have other faults, are we going to fault him on the ruling of a competent court of law?
I asked a question which no one endeavored to answer: what does a person’s hijab stops you from doing? How does a piece of scarf constitute a distraction when half-naked dresses do not?
Maybe we should do away with uniforms to please all, after all students in Anne Arundel County schools in the state of Maryland, USA do not wear uniforms.

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I didn’t order use of hijab in schools – Aregbesola

The Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, has denied claims that he is behind the hijab crisis rocking the education sector in the state.
june 12
“Let me say this there is no official pronouncement on hijab. I have not ordered the use of hijab in schools and I challenge them to bring evidence,” Aregbesola said during a roundtable on developing collaborative framework for education organised by the Development and Advancement in Western Nigeria.
“It might interest you that my wife does not use hijab, my daughter does not use hijab. So, I did not order the use of hijab.
“My view on Islam is why I am suffering unmerited persecution. My crime is that I struggle to be a good Muslim and not because I hurt anybody.”
The governor insisted that there was no crisis in the state’s education sector and accused the media of celebrating idiocy by focusing on the decision of some “misguided students” of Baptist High School to wear church garments to school.
He said it was wrong for any religious body to claim the ownership of any public school in the state as government took over the schools about 41 years ago.
The governor also said it was not true that schools founded by Muslim were merged with schools established by Christian missionaries.


He explained that the hijab crisis started in 2012 when four Muslim students were prevented from using hijab after they were transferred to Baptist High School from a school where they were allowed to use hijab.
Meanwhile, some Muslim clerics stormed some public schools in Osogbo on Monday, insisting that female Muslim students should be allowed to wear hijab to the schools in accordance with the judgment of the Osun State High Court.
It was gathered that the clerics went to St. Charles’ High School and Ife Oluwa Middle School early in the morning but the teachers told them it would take a directive from the Ministry of Education for that to happen.
“Some Muslims came this morning and said they wanted to enforce the use of hijab. We explained to them that we will allow our students to wear hijab whenever we get instruction from the state government to do so,” the Principal of St. Charles’ High School, Mr. Anthony Famoriyo, said.
“You know that everything we do in schools follows procedure; what you teach, the way you teach. We are not against any group. We are here to teach our children and that is our mission.”

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Osun hijab crisis: SSS, Police meet Church officials

Security agencies in Osun State held an emergency meeting Thursday to find ways of curtailing possible fallouts of an ongoing controversy over the use of hijab in public schools.
The meeting was held at the office of the state Director of Security Services, Ike Madagwana, with the state police commissioner, Femi Olanipekun, representatives of the state government, Sunday Akere and Wale Afolabi, both former commissioners, in attendance.
Also present at the meeting were representatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), representative of Baptist Church in the state, other paramilitary organizations in the state.
The state’s Christian Association of Nigeria is opposed to the use of hijab by female Muslim students in public secondary schools, especially those established by churches.
A recent court ruling authorised the uniform. In response, CAN directed Christian students to attend schools in church garments.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Thursday’s meeting, which lasted for several hours, generated hot exchanges between the security officials and representatives from the Baptist Church.
The arguments started when Baptist officials made it clear that it was inappropriate for the security agencies to invite them for the meeting, asserting that only CAN could summon them to such meetings to discuss the hijab issue.
Members of the Baptist team said they were not informed about such meeting, but were only invited by the Director of SSS, who had informed them that he wanted to see the church’s officials.

“We wondered how ‘We just want to see you in our office’ could now turn to be an unexpected meeting,” one of the clergymen, who would want to be named, said.
“We were even surprised that all the security outfits in the state had already gathered at the place waiting for our arrival.
“We declined to sit with them as we told them that only CAN officials could meet us. How can they say that they want to see us in their office and organize a meeting that we were not aware of with us.
“After a lot of persuasion by all security agencies that gathered there, we sat with them and when the issue of hijab was raised, we only told them that we were not for war but for peace anytime, any day, but our own right also should not be taken away from us.
“To our own knowledge, it is not a meeting but invitation to see the SSS in their office before we met all those assembled in preparation to have a meeting with us. If there will be a meeting let them communicate with CAN officials.”
After the session, state police commissioner, Mr. Olanipekun, told journalists that there was a peaceful meeting between the Christian body and the security agencies in the state to restore peace between Christians and Muslims.
He stated the Christian body was charged to live in harmony with Muslims in the state and was assured that same talks would be held with the Muslim body.
Source : Premium Times

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