Osun Hijab Crisis: Coalition Cautions against Breakdown of Law and Order


*Calls for respect of  rule of law

By Zacheaus Somorin

Coalition of Civil Society for Equality and Justice has warned against the breakdown of law and order in Osun State, while calling for strict compliance with the recent court order in respect of the school uniform.

The latest crisis is occasioned by reactions to a recent court ruling granted by Justice Oyedeji Falola of the Osun State High Court on June 3rd, 2016, which held that wearing hijab is part of the fundamental rights of the Muslim female pupils, and that any act of molestation, harassment, torture or humiliation against Muslim female students using the hijab constitutes a clear infringement on their fundamental human rights as contained in section 38 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

At a press briefing addressed by Comrade Ayinde Olaide of the Center for Global Peace Initiatives, Comrade Buna Olaitan of the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda, Comrade Tunde Ibrahim, Olumuyiwa Wahab Foundation (OWF) the coalition posited:  “As a coalition, we deem it imperative to intervene at this critical point with the intent of safeguarding the rule of law, constitutionalism and the fundamental rights of every citizen to freedom of conscience, expression and identity as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the African Union Charter and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Right, more so when reactions against the ruling has taken the dimension of resort to self-help”.

The coalition pointed out that the pronouncement of the court on the rights of Muslims to hijab must be respected and enforced by the government of the state; pointing out that “those who feel aggrieved on the matter have every constitutional right to challenge the court ruling at a higher court without subverting the tenets of democracy and the rule of law thereby throwing the society into a state of anarchy”.

“We must accept the social reality of the Nigerian state as a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society, with the rule of law as the cardinal pillar through which equality, liberty and fraternity could be guaranteed”.