Kwara Muslim Community demands change of names for public schools

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Malam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Governor of Kwara State.

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By KEMI KASUMU

The Kwara State Muslim Community has pushed forward to the AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq Administration its demand that a change of names be effected for all schools formerly owned by Muslim and Christian proprietors but are now public.

This, it said, became imperative as a way of lasting solution to the lingering hijab crisis, even as Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is said to be engaging in fresh sponsored media campaign in ensuring that resolution of government does not stand, despite having been judged wrong by two courts it dragged the state to over the matter.

CAN, which failed at the state High Court and Court of Appeal to stop government on full ownership of the taken over schools and failed to stop Muslim students on their Islamic identity in schools run by the state government, is said to have been planning to still send any female Muslim student wearing Hijab back from schools within Ilorin, one of Nigeria’s predominantly Islamic societies.

The Kwara State Muslim Community has, therefore, written a letter addressed to government, in a final move to tell CAN that “Enough is Enough”.

It also demanded adequate compensation for family of the late Habeeb Idris, killed on February 3 when thugs believed to have been sponsored by CAN shot into a peaceful protest by Muslims, against persecution Muslim students in hijab by government’s paid management staff of Baptist Grammar School, Ijagbo, Oyun Local Government Area of the state, killing Habeeb and injuring several others.

In the letter dated June 7 and addressed to the state governor, Malam Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq, the group gave six recommendations for resolving the vexed issue of hijab wearing by female Muslim students in all public schools in the state.

The DEFENDER reports that the government’s precautionary measure on the matter was to ensure that any school where CAN, in its adamant show of disregard to the rule of law, is allowed by management to cause trouble by persecuting Muslim students on the account of their religion, such school will be shut down like it did for three months in Ijagbo due to religious rascality of CAN.

Sadly, as if to show lack of concern for the life lost from the Ijagbo’s anti-hijab crisis, believed to have been sponsored by it, CAN was said to be planning yet another crisis over the same hijab that has been resolved at all levels.

But the Muslim Community of the North Central state made its position known in the letter by saying never again will CAN be able to step the rights of Muslims in the face and go scot-free with it.

To assert its seriousness, the letter jointly signed by Alhaji Ishaq AbdulKareem, its Chairman, and Prof. AbdulKadir Ibrahim Abikan, its Secretary and President of Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), were copied to the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, Chief Imam of Ilorin, Dr. Muhammad Bashir Imam Salih, the Inspector General of Police, Police Force Headquarters, Abuja, Leaders of all Islamic bodies in Kwara State Jama’atu Nasril Islam, Kwara State Branch, Federation of Muslim Women’s Association In Nigeria (FOMWAN), Kwara State Branch, National Hijrah Association of Nigeria, National Headquarters, Ilorin, National Council of Muslim Youths (NACOMYO), Kwara State Branch and CMO Kwara State Branch

Also, copy of the letter, made available to The DEFENDER on Tuesday, read:

“The Kwara State government should change the names of all schools formerly owned by both the Muslim and Christian proprietors by adding ‘Government’ to them to reflect Ansarul Islam Government Secondary School, Ilorin; Bishop Smith Memorial Government College, Ilorin,” the community stated in the letter.

“The Kwara State government should build a new school mosque for Muslim students/ teachers of Bishop Smith Memorial College, Ilorin, to replace the one demolished by Kwara CAN thugs.

“The Kwara State government should appoint a new commissioner for education and human capital development, while the permanent secretary in the ministry should be moved to another ministry.

“The Kwara State government must enforce freedom of worship in our schools by ensuring that separate devotions are held for Muslim and Christian students at the school assembly, and no external imam or pastor should be allowed to participate in morning devotion aside from the school teachers.

“The Kwara State government should ensure, henceforth, that appointments and postings of principals into all schools are based on merit and seniority and should be the sole responsibility of Kwara State Teaching Service Commission instead of former proprietors as it’s being done now.”


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