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Ijabo Baptist School Hijab Crisis: Kwara may prosecute mastermind as c’ttee submits report

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The Panel of inquiry on the recent Hijab crisis at the public funded-Oyun Baptist Secondary School, Ijagbo, Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara state, has submitted its report with a number of recommendations to Governor Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq.

The panel among others recommended police investigation into the violence that claimed one life and prosecution of any culprits to avoid a repeat.

It further recommended official action on specific individuals indicted of negligence or collusion in the crisis.

The panel also wants a review of the policy on grant aided schools to clarify grey areas just as it held that government’s policy allowing any female Muslim child to wear hijab in all categories of public schools is in order and should stand except the Supreme Court later holds otherwise.

Submitting the report to the governor at the Presidential Lodge in Ilorin, Chairman of the panel, Dr Shehu Omoniyi Ibrahim, advised the government to restrict religious activities in public schools to those officially conducted by either the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, MSSN, or Fellowship Christian Students, FCS, while disallowing clerics or individuals from outside the schools from conducting such activities in public schools among others.

 Receiving the report, Governor AbdulRazaq said as recommended by the panel, “we will definitely commence interfaith dialogue while the government looks quickly into the report.

“From what you have said before we read the report, it is obvious you have done a thorough job.

“We thank you very much. You have done a good work. It’s not an easy job. We do understand the sensitivity of the issues and we ensure to do what is right.”

AbdulRazaq assured the people of the state that the government would soon reopen the school for academic activities under a peaceful atmosphere.

AFRIPOST Newspaper reports that the panel reviewed several reports of previous committees set up by government on religious matters noting however, with regret that the only point that could not be agreed upon is still the hijab issue.

The panel also scrutinised many past circulars, from Ministry of Education to the chairman of SUBEB, on Hijab matters and noted that the issue of Hijab had been promoted to public discussion since 2007, and yet could not be resolved by previous governments.

Other members of the panel were Pastor Modupe Agboola; Kwara State Chairperson of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Dr. Saudat AbdulBaki; Special Assistant to the Governor on Religion (Islam) Alhaji Ibrahim Zubair Danmaigoro; Special Assistant to the Governor on Religion (Christianity) Reverend Timothy Akangbe; and a director in the Ministry of Justice, Ishola Olofere (Secretary).

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