Kwara Governor Abdulrazaq insists on hijab in public missionary schools

The governor says the hijab policy was taken in the overall interest of all parties.

Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, promises to take genuine steps to address the concerns of all parties [Twitter/@RealAARahman]

The governor was forced to shut down 10 Christian missionary schools last month after owners prevented female Muslim students from wearing the head covering on school premises.

The schools are grant-aided by the government, and by virtue of the 2006 Kwara State Education Law considered public schools where all faiths have religious freedom.

The government's resolution that the students can wear the hijab was met with opposition from the Christian community forcing the government to shut down the schools again earlier in March.

The reopening of the schools last week was met with violence as both faith communities physically clashed, raising fears of a religious crisis in the state.

Governor AbdulRazaq in a statewide broadcast on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 said the government's hijab policy was taken in the overall interest of all parties.

While acknowledging the apprehension of the affected faith communities, the governor said his administration will take genuine steps to address all the concerns raised to arrive at decisions that will ensure sustainable peace.

He said the starting point of the reconciliation process will be the reconstitution of an interfaith committee to further build confidence as well as provide templates to steadily resolve all issues of mutual concerns.

"My profound appeal goes to all our leaders to prioritise communal peace and human brotherhood.

"We need to join hands to build a generation of future leaders who acknowledge and respect one another's differences," he said.

Governor AbdulRazaq hailed security agencies for professionally cracking down on last week's troublemakers, and warned that 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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