Kwara Hijab crisis: Government shuts Oyun Baptist High School

Kwara State government has announced the closure of Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo, to forestall further breakdown of law and order following a free-for-all over the use of hijab by female Muslims in the school.

 

It sued for peace among the warring parties, as the fate of students writing external examinations in the school hangs in the balance.

 

Announcing the closure, the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Sa’adatu Kawu, condemned the crisis, warning that the government will no longer tolerate any breach of peace in the state.

 

She said: “Kwara State government totally condemns the resort to violence in the government-owned Oyun Baptist Secondary School, Ijagbo, on Thursday. This is totally unacceptable.

 

“The government unreservedly condemns the flagrant act of discrimination against anyone, especially children, on religious grounds. Such discrimination will not be tolerated in any public-owned institution in the state.



“While the government and the security agencies continue to work with leaders on all sides, it hereby directs the immediate shutdown of the school pending resolution of the issue.”

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The police command, on Thursday, confirmed the use of dangerous weapons, as residents of Ijagbo in Oyun Local Council clashed with protesting Muslim parents of the school over the religious veil.

 

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Amienbo Assayomo, said but for the prompt intervention of the regular unit of the command, the crisis would have degenerated beyond immediate control.

 

Spokesman of the command, Ajayi Okasanmi, was, however, silent on casualties during the fracas.

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The hijab crisis had, in recent times, hit some Original Christian missionary schools in the state.

 

The state government said though such schools still retained their original names, they had, over the years, been taken over by government, thus, making them public schools.

 

However, Christians are vehemently contesting the government’s stance.



The command added: “The Kwara State Police Command wishes to inform the general public, especially citizens and residents of Ijagbo community and environs, that its tactical units and conventional personnel deployed to Ijagbo have successfully restored peace and are on the ground to prevent further break own of law and order.

 

“The above action is sequel to the crisis related to the wearing of hijab in schools, which matter has been in contention between the Christian and Muslim faithful in Kwara.”

 

The CP appealed to the warring parties to embrace peace and shun any act that could jeopardise the current peace in the area, as the police have been directed to arrest any one found truncating the peace.

 

THURSDAY

One person was feared killed while four others sustained varying degrees of injuries, after a protest by Christian and Muslim parents of students of the Oyun Baptist High School in Ijagbo, Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State, over the use of Hajib, turned violent.

Kwara Hijab crisis: Government shuts Oyun Baptist High School

It was gathered that the violence was triggered by the decision of the management of Oyun Baptist High School, on January 17, 2022 that Muslim students should not wear Hijab to the school again.



Arewa Voice gathered that the opposing parents (Muslims and Christians) students protested in the morning at the gate of the school displaying placards to express their positions. But the protest suddenly turned violent after the opposing parents’ confrontation and their sympathisers degenerated. Hoodlums took advantage of the situation and freely used dangerous weapons, during which one person was reportedly shot in the head and four others sustained severe injuries.

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