By Kemi Kasumu
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called for caution in dealing with the hijab sage in Lagos State since, according to it, the matter is already before the Supreme Court.
It made this call following what it observed of a group of Muslims who called on Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, to withdraw certain comments made by her while on a television programme regarding the hijab imbroglio in the state.
The rights group advised the Muslims in Lagos State not to be in a hurry to condemn the deputy governor but to sit down and critically reflect on her statement.
In a release signed by its Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, copy of which was sent to The DEFENDER, the adherents of Islamic faith in Lagos State were acknowledged to have been patient from the beginning and asked to show more patience while the apex determines the final position on the matter.
The statement said: “Lagos Muslims have been extremely patient and law abiding from the beginning. Unlike the leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who disregarded the decision of the High Court of the State of Osun and instigated Christian students to misbehave, Lagos Muslims respected the ruling of the Lagos High Court which upheld the ban on hijab. Instead of creating ugly scenes, Lagos Muslims went to the appellate court.
“This mature behavior has earned tons of respect for the Muslims of Lagos and attracted a Tsunami of accolades. We must maintain this decorum. We cannot afford to be unruly. The Glorious Qur’an affirms that Muslims are the best among mankind (Qur’an 3:110). The clock is ticking fast and there is no need to be in a rush. Neither should we issue statements capable of generating tension in the state. Lagos has enjoyed peace for a long time and there is every reason to sustain the status quo.”
It went on to appreciate the state government’s statements cautioning school authorities in Lagos State against extreme behaviours, saying, “That is responsible governance and we doff our cap to the state government for doing this. Even the statement attributed to the Deputy Governor does not call for tantrums. She merely spoke the obvious.
“Neither Governor Akinwunmi Ambode nor his deputy has been hostile towards Muslims since they came into power. Muslims in the state also have no reason to doubt either the deputy governor’s goodwill or her commitment to her faith. She has worshipped sincerely with Lagos Muslims for years before becoming deputy governor and she has continued to do so while in government.
“Experienced public analysts know that statements made during press interviews need to be critically assessed and not taken at their face value. There is also an urgent need to understand the raison d’etre for taking the case to the Supreme Court. Governments often have bigger pictures since they deal with all stakeholders. The Supreme Court option may be the voice of Jacob, but if it is true that the Appeal Court gave sweet victory to Lagos Muslims in particular, the Lagos State Government may have given Nigerian Muslims in general a glorious national triumph by going to the Supreme Court. Time will tell.
“We therefore appeal to Muslims in Lagos State to allow the law to take its due course. We must not allow the hand of Esau to push us to extreme behaviours. Let us eschew threats. Let us douse tension on the hijab issue. The case is in the highest court in the land and if we have been patient since all these years, nothing stops us from exercising patience to the very end. Like revenge, victory is sweeter when it is cold,” Akintola stated in the release by MURIC.