Hammed Shittu in Ilorin.
The crisis over the wearing of Hijab in public schools in Kwara State, yesterday, turned violent as one person was feared killed during a protest embarked on by parents of Muslim students and Christians of Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo, in Oyun Local Government Council area of the state.
The incident, according to THISDAY checks, was not unconnected with the recent affirmation by the state government on the wearing of Hijab by Muslim students in all the public schools, including that of all mission schools in the state.
The state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), had in its recent statement, vowed to reject any impositions of the wearing of Hijab in the mission schools in the state.
THISDAY checks further revealed that, as early as 8.00 am, parents of the Muslim students of the school were said to have come out early to the school and embarked on peaceful protest in front of the school following the denial of the authority of the school to allow them put on their Hijab dress.
The parents, it was gathered, demanded the wearing of the Hijab in accordance to the Nigerian Constitution and state government circular that allowed every Muslim students to put on Hijab in any public schools in the state.
The development, however, prompted the parents of the Christian students of the school to stage another peaceful protest to reject the wearing of Hijab in Christian schools.
Following the protest by the two parents of different faiths, the development soon turned into violence as they attacked each other with dangerous weapons in the school.
In the melee, however, one parent of the school was shot and reportedly died instantly.
When contacted, the state police command, confirmed the incident at Oyun Baptist High School.
In a statement, Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ajayi Okasanmi, said, the state command had deployed Tactical Units and conventional police men to Ijagbo to restore peace and to ensure that no further break down of law and order was allowed in the town.
“The commissioner of police, Kwara State, CP Tuesday Assayomo has appealed to the warring parties to embrace peace and shun any act that could jeopardize the current peace in the area, as the police have been directed to arrest anyone found in any way truncating the hard earned peace in Kwara State, as such persons would be made to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.
Also, the state government condemned the resort to violence in the government-owned school. A statement by the state Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Alhaja Saadatu Modibbo Kawu, said, “The violence at the school is totally unacceptable.
“The Kwara State Government unreservedly condemns the flagrant act of discrimination against anyone, especially children, on religious grounds. Such discrimination will not be tolerated in any public-owned institution in the state.”