By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has accused the Governor of Kwara State, Mr. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, of exhibiting religious bias by the blanket approval of the wearing of Hijab in Christian mission schools.
It also urged the governor to withdraw his approval on the wearing of Hijab in schools in Kwara State including Christian mission schools or face legal action.
A statement that was issued yesterday by the General Secretary of CAN, Mr. Joseph Bade Daramola, said the governor has shown open bias for one religion.
Daramola said: “It appears to be contempt of the court because the governor is aware that there is a pending court case on this matter over which the court had earlier ruled that the status quo should be maintained.
“Is the governor now saying that he is above the law? What is going to spoil if we all wait for the court to pronounce judgment on the matter? Why this hasty action?” the CAN asked.
The Christian association said that it has resolved to use all lawful means to reverse the order should the government refused to withdraw the directive.
It said: “We recalled that some people took laws into their hands in the state by going from school to school to be enforcing the wearing of Hijab in secondary schools, including the schools owned by mission agents but are only grant-aided by the government.
“Instead of the government to caution such trouble makers and admonish them to wait for the court process to be concluded and judgment delivered, the government of Kwara State has shown its religious bias by the blanket approval of the wearing of Hijab, even in Christian Mission Schools.”
The CAN said that the action of the government of Kwara State is not only discriminatory and divisive, but it equally suggested that the government was the one behind the earlier illegal enforcement of the wearing of Hijab in Christian schools.
It noted that while the government might give directive on its own schools, it ought to have respected the schools it does not directly own nor started and respect the religious cultures of such schools as well.
“We urge the political elites to stop using their religious overzealousness in causing division in the society but rather treat all equally irrespective of religious and ethnic affiliation.
“If we would all do pilgrimage together, there must be fairness, mutual respect and justice. No political leader should use his or her position to further the cause of any particular religion or ethnic group in order for peace to prevail,” said CAN.