The students of Baptist High School, Iwo, Osun State, appeared in school on Tuesday in their church apparels to protest against the court judgment which approved the use of Hijab by the Muslim students. One of the leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was reported to have said, “if the Muslims are allowed to wear Hijab to propagate Islam in schools founded by Christian missionaries, it would also be appropriate for Christian to wear religious garment to school.”
The Centre for Cultural and Religious Rights, CECURR, finds this situation and the background to it very worrisome as we believe if the situation is not properly handled, the situation might degenerate into chaos and wreck untold havoc in the hitherto peaceful state.
CECURR is a child of necessity borne of the need to bring a succor for victims of religious and cultural persecution in any part of Nigeria. It is a non-religious organization of men and women of different religious background including atheist; it is non-sectarian, non-gender bias, gender- sensitive, non-profit making and non-governmental organisation. Its activities cover all parts of the country, its work strategy centres on study, research, education, advocacy and enlightenment.
The National Coordinator of CECURR, Mr. Debo Adeniran, in reacting to the development said “education is very important to the future of this nation and should not be affected by religious sentiment. Education sector is already in a serious quagmire and requires rejuvenation; the mode of dressing of students should have nothing to do with education ordinarily and should not be made a priority.”
Adeniran advised that the Osun state government to ensure that religious differences does not tamper with the secular status of the country and government owned institutions as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution. He said “government should avoid any situation that could allow religious sentiments to sip into governance issues or policies as this could become counter-productive and may lead to catastrophic outcomes.”
“We encourage the Osun state government to act fast before the present situation degenerates into anarchy by calling for dialogue and arbitration to intervene in the unfolding scenario beyond legalism and other issues that won’t matter when the latently looming chaos comes into bold relief.” the CECURR Coordinator added
“CECURR calls on all parties involved in the crisis to eschew violence and altercations and imbibe peaceful means of resolving the imbroglio as none of the parties stand to gain anything significant should the situation escalate beyond the present state.” Adeniran concluded
National Coordinator, CECURR
June 17, 2016