THE Kwara State government on Thursday met with religious leaders in the state, with both Muslim and Christian leaders stating their positions and offering opinions on how to resolve the differences on the hijab question in grant-aided schools.
Muslim stakeholders in the state, including youth and women organisations, had called on the state government to prevail on former owners of public schools to allow female Muslim students to wear hijab.
They said that since the state government had taken over such schools, the former missionary owners should no longer have control over the grant-aided schools in the state.
The stakeholders said that allowing Muslim female students to wear hijab would be in conformity with a 2016 judgment of the state High Court and that of the Court of Appeal in 2019.
At the Thursday meeting, the deputy governor, Kayode Alabi, appealed to Christians and Muslims to respect each other’s differences, live in peace and love, and join hands together to raise a generation of children who will see one another as compatriots.
The meeting, which was attended by representatives of the Muslim and Christian communities, political leaders and leaders of thought in the state, was convened by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
A statement issued after the meeting in Ilorin, the state capital, said the meeting resolved to devolve into a committee that would specifically tackle the hijab question.
The statement added: “Members of the committee are the deputy governor (chairman), two thought leaders/statesmen from the two sides, three religious leaders from the two sides, Senator Suleiman Ajadi, Prince Sunday Fagbemi, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Special Assistants to the Governor on Religion (Islam and Christianity) and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.
“The meeting stressed the need for every side to keep the peace and constantly caution members of their communities to avoid any action or comments that may disturb public peace.”
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