Indigenes of Ilorin, Kwara State capital, yesterday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the hijab crisis rocking the state.
The people of Ilorin specifically asked Buhari to prevail on Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), “to allow the unique harmonious coexistence and peace for which the people of Ilorin are well known to subsist.”
They made the call at a news conference addressed by the president of Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), Alh Aliyu Otta Uthman, in Ilorin.
Uthman explained that the union, had initially, in its characteristic manner of non -interference in governmental decisions, elected to be silent on the issue of hijab wearing by female Muslim students in the state as the state government was working round the clock to resolve the complaints of some Christians on the issue.
“However, recent actions by founders of the acquired schools show that the current agitation must have been masterminded by individuals or groups who do not wish the state well. Hijab, for willing Muslim girls, should not be the basis for the current crisis,” Uthman added.
The IEDPU president added: “To us, we do not see any reason (s) Muslim pupils, who are willing to put on the hijab along with their uniforms, should be denied such fundamental right to manifest their religious leaning in public schools as guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution.
“We are very much aware of the constitutional rights of Nigerian citizens to pursue and practice any faith of their choice and to conduct themselves in accordance with the tenets of such religion.
“The decisions of an Ilorin High Court and subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal affirming the right of the Muslim girl- child and indeed any Muslim female to adorn the hijab in any public place in the country, as entrenched in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, are also in public domain.”
Uthman, who raised many issues concerning Christians’ resistance of hijab wearing by the female Muslim students said: “We have noted with grave concern, the threat of violence by some of the demonstrators. If such individuals could resist a legitimately issued directive of the constituted authorities, and deliberately take the law into their hands, one gets more worried about the safety of life and property in the community.”