Hijab Controversy: Kwara Govt Shuts Baptist School After Fresh Violence
The Kwara State Government on Thursday shut down the government owned Oyun Baptist Secondary School, Ijagbo in Oyun Local Government Area of the state.
In a statement, the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Sa’adatu Modibbo Kawu, condemned the fresh violence that broke out in the school following the continued denial of the use of hijab by the authorities of the institution.
Some parents had stormed the school to protest the rejection of their wards at the school premises.
A visit to the school showed youths of both faiths mobilised and engaged in a face-off before they were dispersed by security operatives.
The commissioner said the incident was totally unacceptable, vowing that the state government will not tolerate such discrimination in any public institution in the state.
While calling for calm, Kawu called on security agencies to investigate the incident and arrest anyone linked to the violence to serve as a deterrent to others.
“The 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 statement read.
“The Kwara State 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.
“The government commends the security agencies for their prompt action that has restored calm in the area. The government calls on them to investigate and bring to book anyone linked to the violence as a deterrence to others. The government appeals for calm as violence brings nothing good.”
Meanwhile, calm as returned to the school following the deployment of security operatives to the area to forestall breakdown of law and order.
Speaking to Channels Television, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Ajayi Okasanmi, said the issue started last week when some hijab wearing students were turned back by the school authority.
He explained that the insistence of the parents of the girls to ensure the entrance of the students led to the crisis this morning.
Though the police could not confirm if there were any casualties, a source said a fatally wounded boy was receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.