Muslims, Christians Clash Over Use Of Hijab In Kwara Schools

There was violence between hijab supporters and opposers at Surulere Baptist Secondary School. Christians against hijab carried placards with inscriptions, “Give us back our schools,” “Enough of marginalisation.” On the other hand, there Muslims with placards with “Laila Ilalahu Muhammadu Rosululah” (There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah) inscribed on them.

The chants by the opposing sides soon degenerated into violence as they hurled stones against one another. The police dispersed the violent protesters with teargas and gunshots. The protesting groups were forced to leave, but not until they had damaged the school’s gate and signpost. President of Kwara Baptist Conference, Victor Dada, told journalists that the state government did not respect the rule of law by deciding on a case already at the Supreme Court.

“What transpired this morning was simply because the government, led by Governor AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq, is not respecting the rule of law, and if the state government does not respect the rule of law, there will be chaos.

“The governor is making a pronouncement on a case that is before the Supreme Court, and judgment has not been given. As long as the state government doesn’t respect the rule of law, we will defend our property and our faith.

“We will not allow hijab in our school because this is a Christian mission school. Let Kwara State Government respect the rule of law,” Mr. Dada said.

At C & S College, Sabo Oke, there were Christians with placards saying, “Kwara State is for all, not an Islamic state,” “We say no to hijab,” and “Our school is our heritage.”

The protesters prevented the students and teachers from entering the school premises.

Similarly, at St. Anthony’s Secondary School, Offa Road, teachers and students hung around the premises in the police, soldiers, and civil defence personnel.

At the Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam, the school remained shut, with few students and security operatives around the institution.