Hijaab crisis: Anglican church, Kwara govt set for peace talk
By Oluseyi Dasilva, Ilorin
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Ecclesiastical Province of Kwara has called on Kwara state government to return to round table for further talks as a way of solving the controversy on ground over hijaab.
In a statement titled “Our Stand on The On-Going Hijab Controversy In Kwara State” made available to journalists on Saturday, signed by The Most Revd Israel Amoo Archbishop of Kwara, the church expressed the need for all parties to continue to follow the path of peace by returning to the dialogue table for appropriate discussions.
The Anglican Communion restated that it stands with the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over the rejection of Hijaab in Mission grant aided schools because it said it negates their faith and tenets of faith.
“Our attention has been directed to the current controversy on the use of hijab in Christian Missionary Schools in Kwara state and the attendant complications and conflicts.
“We believe that the greatest need of any society is peace and harmony especially in a state christened as a State of Harmony and where this is compromised it is a dangerous trend.
“The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kwara state held several consultations with the State Government and subsequently made the position of the owners of the Christian Schools known in very clear and unambiguous terms.
“We absolutely align with the position of CAN and restate that we do not allow the use of hijaab in our schools as it negates our belief and doctrinal principles on which the schools were founded in the first place.”
Anglican communion stated that it was aware that the schools in question have been in existence for many years, that the incumbent executive Governor of Kwara State attended one of them during which Christian and Muslim students co-existed without acrimony on religious basis questioning “Why are we now creating this problem to heat up the polity unnecessarily?”
The church also stated its expectation of a return to status quo since the matter was pending at the Supreme Court as expected of a law-abiding government.
“We as Christians are peaceful, law abiding and God-fearing people, however, we would neither compromise our faith nor trade away our heritage as a result of intimidation or harassment of any magnitude or intensity.
The resort to attacks on our people and properties will do no one any good but may result in conflagration the effect of which no one will be able to imagine.
The church therefore restated the call that the state government revisit the original document stating the terms of the partnership which the Kwara state government envisaged in 1974 and revisit every subsequent legislation and executive orders that gradually withered the original terms be rescinded for the purpose of peace and progress in this school in particular and the state in general.
The church further stated that the exercise of right to attend a school presupposes that the student will abide with existing school rules, regulations and fundamental principles. If every student has to adopt a dress code peculiar to his or her religious belief then the word uniform would have been rubbished and become meaningless.