The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Wednesday called Nigerians and the Inspector-General of Police to hold the Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq responsible if the hijab controversy in the state degenerates into a bigger security issue.
CAN made the declaration in a statement signed by its general secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola in which the Christian umbrella body reacted to the ongoing violence in Kwara over the government’s hijab policy.
The violence erupted on Wednesday in Ilorin, Kwara State capital after the state government reopened 10 schools shut last month over the use of hijab by Muslim female students.
Residents claim that the Muslims are angry over the refusal of Christian leaders to allow usage of Hijab by Muslim students in Christian mission grant-aided schools.
CAN in its reaction to the violence and bloodletting witnessed in Kwara State, expressed disappointment on actions so far taken by the state government and called on the Inspector-General of Police to intervene in the matter to restore peace.
It also accused Governor Abdulrazaq of turning a blind eye and encouraging hoodlums to unleash mayhem on innocent Christians in the state.
Furthermore, CAN accused the Governor of being responsible for the current crisis, wondering why he didn’t wait for the final court verdict on the hijab matter as the case is already pending before the Supreme Court.
“We learnt that the State government has ordered the reopening of the closed schools without resolving the crisis and consequently, churches and mission schools are being vandalised with impunity by the hoodlums banking on the state government’s support in the pretext of enforcing the policy. Some innocent Christians are being violently abused and attacked under the watch of the Governor who is playing ostrich.”
“The Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, should be held responsible if the matter degenerates because it was his pronouncement on the issue of hijab wearing in violation of the court directive on the matter to maintain status quo until the matter is finally resolved by the court that led to this trouble.”
“Wisdom is required by those in leadership to handle sensitive issues such as that of religion so as not to precipitate war. If any damage is done to any church or anyone is injured on this matter, the Governor of Kwara State will be held responsible.”
“It is disheartening and unfortunate that a government that was installed democratically will become insensitive to the plight and the yearning of the people as if the governor was voted into the office primarily to protect his own religion. This is unfair, ungodly and reprehensible.”
“There are public schools and schools that belong to some Islamic organizations where those who wanted to be wearing hijab can be attending without causing the ongoing needless crises rocking the state.”
“CAN once again calls on Governor AbdulRazaq to give peace a chance in the State by ordering his hoodlums to stop attacking mission schools and churches in Kwara State before the situation degenerates into an unprecedented religious crisis.”
“We also call on the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police to ask the Kwara State government to respect the rule of law in order to avoid a chaotic situation,” the CAN statement read.