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Kwara to set up interfaith committee to address concerns over hijab controversy

Kwara to set up interfaith committee to address concerns over hijab controversy
March 23
23:19 2021

Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, governor of Kwara, says the state will reconstitute an interfaith committee to address concerns arising from the policy of using hijab in public schools. 

The state has been embroiled in controversy over the use of hijab in public schools, especially for learning institutions referred to as grant-aided missionary schools.

While the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) blamed the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for the crisis, the Christian body said the government was “insensitive” on the matter.

Reactions to the directive had resulted in violence, but the government later clarified that the use of hijab is voluntary for public schools.


In February, the state government had ordered the closure of 10 schools over over the dispute, but the schools were asked to resume on March 19.

Speaking in a televised broadcast on Tuesday, the governor said an interfaith committee would be set up to build confidence and provide templates to “resolve all issues of mutual concerns”.

“I acknowledge the apprehension from the Christian and Muslim communities. Having held dozens of meetings with various thoughts leaders from both sides in the last four weeks, I am convinced that beneath the tensions and misgivings around the hijaab decision are old wounds that must be healed,” he said.


“I assure all Kwarans that we will take genuine steps to address the concerns raised by various faith communities.

“In doing so, a huge dose of understanding, selflessness, and patriotism will be required. Going forward, we will need leaders from both sides to spread message of love, accommodation, patience, peace, and mutual respect.

“Notwithstanding their varied positions, I am proud of the level of restraints and statesmanship shown by our religious leaders.

“I commend them and reassure them that we will always be fair, courageous in taking decisions for sustainable peace, and be willing to listen to their concerns.


“The starting point will be the reconstitution in the coming days of the interfaith committee to further build confidence as well as provide templates to steadily resolve all issues of mutual concerns.

“I commend the security agencies for their professionalism and their sticking to strategic patience jointly agreed upon. This has helped to prevent loss of lives and properties, while keeping crisis merchants in check.

“I urge parents to speak to their wards to stay away from trouble. Any attempt to take advantage of the situation to foment trouble will be met with maximum punishment prescribed by the law.”



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