Nigerian Islamic rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged the Kwara State government to rename schools whose authorities ‘have refused to obey court pronouncements’ and government’s directives on the use of hijab in schools.
The MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, gave the advice on Saturday in a statement.
“The (Kwara) state government must rename those controversial schools. They may be given names derived from the areas in which they are located. We like to suggest that, by extension, all schools in Kwara State which are still bearing missionary names, whether Christian or Muslim, should be renamed in as much as funding and the teachers’ salaries are still being paid by the state government.
“It is obvious that the Kwara State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is determined to forment trouble. It has refused to obey court judgements. It has also rejected government’s directive on the approval of hijab for female Muslim students.
“Worse still, CAN incited its members in the state to occupy the schools. It was this direct and open incitement which culminated in the violence witnessed on Wednesday, 17 March, 2021, in some of the schools. This is open confrontation, militancy, thuggery and hooliganism on the part of CAN, the school principals and teachers,” Akintola said.
According to him, “it is necessary, at this stage, for the state government to put its feet down as no responsible government will allow fanatical religious leaders who have no respect for the rule of law to cause anarchy under its watch.
Akintola said, “It is in this respect that we commend Governor AbdulRahman for coming out boldly to assert his authority in the unequivocal policy statement issued on Thursday 18 March, 2021.
“However, this statement needs to be followed up with actions capable of demonstrating that government has the political will to enforce its directive. Firstly, leaders of CAN in the state should be arrested and charged for contempt of court.
“This Kwara chapter of CAN is loaded with rebellious subjects and agents provocateur. They have no respect for social decorum, law and order. Government must make it clear that nobody is above the law.”
Akintola also urged the Kwara State ministry of education to take disciplinary actions against the school principals in those ‘recalcitrant’ schools for exhibiting divided loyalty and insubordination.560