The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says the Kwara government should be held responsible for the hijab crisis rocking the state.
In a statement, Joseph Daramola, CAN general secretary, said the swift reopening of the schools is responsible for the resurgence of the religious crisis.
He said the state government failed to address the underlining issues before taking the decision, and asked the federal government to intervene into the matter.
“We learnt that the State Government has ordered the reopening of the closed schools without resolving the crisis,” CAN said.
“Consequently, churches and mission schools are being vandalised with impunity by the hoodlums banking on the state government’s support in the pretext of enforcing the policy.
”Some innocent Christians are being violently abused and attacked under the watch of the Governor who is playing ostrich. Because it was his pronouncement on the issue of hijab wearing in violation of the court directive on the matter to maintain status quo until the matter is finally resolved by the court that led to this trouble.
“If any damage is done to any church or anyone is injured on this matter, the Governor of Kwara State will be held responsible. It is disheartening and unfortunate that a government that was installed democratically will become insensitive to the plight and the yearning of the people.
”As if the governor was voted into the office primarily to protect his own religion. This is unfair, ungodly and reprehensible.
”There are public schools and schools that belong to some Islamic organisations where those who wanted to be wearing hijab can be attending without causing the ongoing needless crisis rocking the state.”
In the past few weeks, the state has been embroiled in controversy over the use of hijab in public schools, especially those that are referred to as grant-aided missionary schools.
On February 19, the state government ordered the closure of 10 schools over a dispute on the use of hijab by Muslim female students.
The controversy degenerated into violence on Wednesday in Ilorin, where Christians and Muslims engaged in a confrontation following the decision of the state government to reopen 10 schools earlier closed.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) had accused CAN of instigating the clash between the two religions in the state.
The state later clarified that the use of hijab in public schools is not mandatory, but Muslim schoolgirls who are willing can put on the headgear.