Violence Mars Reopening Of Kwara Schools Shut Over Hijab Controversy
The reopening today of 10 Kwara State schools earlier shut over a hijab controversy was marred by violence and resistance .
The schools were closed on Feb. 19 over a misunderstanding in the use of hijab (Islamic female veil) in public schools.
The government set up a committee to resolve the dispute and later asked the schools to resume on March 8 with willing female pupils allowed to use the hijab.
The government, however, rescinded its decision to reopen the schools over safety concerns as some Christians were averse to the decision.
This led to the continuous closure of the schools until when the government announced the reopening in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Violence was recorded at Surulere Baptist Secondary School where Christians were singing gospel songs while Muslims were also chanting Arabic songs.
The Christians carried placards reading: “Give us back our schools”, “Enough of marginalisation”, while the Muslims also had Arabic inscriptions on their placards bearing “Lahila Ilalahu Muhammadu Rosululah” (There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah).
As the songs deepened, the parties threw stones at each other while the police tried to disperse the crowd with teargas and firing of gunshots into the air.
It took the intervention of soldiers to disperse the crowd just as the school gate and sign posts were damaged.
Pastor Victor Dada, President, Kwara Baptist Conference, told newsmen that the state government did not respect the rule of law by making pronouncement over a case already at the Supreme Court.
“What transpired this morning is simply because the government led by Gov. AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq is not respecting the rule of law and if the state government does not respect the rule of law, there will be chaos.
”A case that is in Supreme Court and judgment has not been given, the governor is making pronouncement.
READ ALSO: Kwara Reopens 10 Schools Amid Hijab Controversy
“As long as the state government doesn’t respect the rule of law, we will defend our property and our faith.
”We will not allow hijab in our school because this is a Christian mission school, let Kwara State government respect the rule of law,” Dada said.
At C & S College, Sabo Oke, Christians were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions like “Kwara State is for all, not an Islamic state”, “We say no to hijab” and “Our school is our heritage.”
The protestors prevented the pupils and teachers from entering the school premises.
Similarly, at St. Anthony’s Secondary School, Offa road, teachers and pupils were also seen hanging around the school premises as the police, soldiers and civil defence personnel were seen trying to calm frayed nerves.
At the Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam, the school remained shut with few pupils and security personnel seen around the institution.
However, at ECWA School Oja Iya, academic activities have resumed as students were already seated in their classrooms when NAN correspondent visited.
The affected schools are C&S College Sabo-Oke; St. Anthony’s Secondary School, Offa Road; ECWA School, Oja Iya; Surulere Baptist Secondary School and Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam.
Others are CAC Secondary School, Asa Dam road; St. Barnabas Secondary School Sabo-Oke; St. John School Maraba; St. Williams Secondary School Taiwo Isale, and St. James Secondary School, Maraba.
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BREAKING: PDP Suspends Anyim, Fayose
Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu were on Thursday suspended from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP made the suspension on Thursday after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).
The PDP also referred the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.
BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ-trafficking In UK
A United Kingdom court has found former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, guilty of an organ-trafficking plot, which saw them bring a 21-year-old man to the UK
They were convicted of conspiring to exploit the man from Lagos for his kidney, reports the BBC.
Prosecutors told the Old Bailey the organ was to be removed and given to the couple’s daughter, Sonia, aged 25.
She was cleared of the same charge.
The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
They were later arrested at the airport while trying to leave the UK.
NLC Orders Workers To Shut CBN Offices Nationwide Over Naira Scarcity
Worried about the continued scarcity of naira, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has officially declared a nationwide . The national president of the union, Joe Ajaero, gave the directive during a media briefing in Abuja.
Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby for picketing exercises across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria nationwide.
The NLC earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to end the petrol and cash scarcity being experienced in the country.
Ajaero told journalists on Wednesday that the industrial action became the last resort of the NLC following the expiration of the ultimatum.
He said the decision to picket the CBN branches became necessary as the federal government and the CBN had failed to show any commitment to addressing the situation.
Ajaero lamented that despite the Supreme Court order that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, the situation kept getting worse.
He said workers could not access cash to pay fares to work.
He also criticised the pricing irregularities in the petroleum sector.
“Last week, we gave an ultimatum for the review of the cash crunch bedevilling the country, but we have discovered to our dismay that as at this moment not much effort has been made to ameliorate the situation. Government is still foot-dragging on these issues we raised,” Ajaero said.
“Based on this, we met again this morning to review our position and resolved that by Wednesday next week all CBN branches will be picketed. Workers are directed to stay at home too because people cannot eat, workers can no longer go to the office, we have been pushed to the wall.
“We have decided to take our destiny in our hands, we have mobilised our workers on this exercise.”
The NLC has no fewer than 43 affiliate unions which include, but not limited to, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, and the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
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