Kwara Hijab Controversy: Teachers Locked Out, Christians Sing At School Entrance

 

Following the directive of the Kwara State Government to the 10 schools at the centre of the controversy over the use of the hijab, some churches have refused to reopen the schools.

Channels Television crew visited some of the schools on Friday morning and Christian faithful were seen gathered in front of Cherubim and Seraphim school, singing and praying.

A load of sand is also seen in front of the gate to prevent both teachers and pupils from gaining entrance.

READ ALSO: Christians, Muslims Clash As Kwara Govt Reopens Schools

Although the teachers turned up at Saint Anthony School, as directed by the government, they were seen gathered in groups discussing the situation.

Security operatives later intervened and forced opened gates of both schools.

Security operatives force open the gate to one of the schools

 

The situation at Baptist School, Surulere, where crisis broke out two days ago was however peaceful as teachers gathered in groups inside the school.

The State Government had earlier on Thursday directed principals, teachers, and staff of the schools to reopen.

The government explained that the resumption became necessary in order to prepare the final year students for their external examinations.

The government warned that any staff that fails to report to duty will face the full wrath of the law as it will not condone any act of insubordination.

Member of Cherubim and Seraphim church sing at the entrance of the school.

 

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.

Hijab Controversy: Kwara Government Directs Principals To Resume

Students in missionary school prevented from wearing hijab to school

 

Following the clash over the wearing of hijab in some schools in Ilorin, the Kwara State Government has directed principals, teachers, and staff of ten schools recently shut down over the matter to report at their respective schools tomorrow.

In a statement Thursday, the government explained that the resumption became necessary in order to prepare the final year students for their external examinations.

The government warned that any staff that fails to report to duty will face the full wrath of the law as it will not condone any act of insubordination.

READ ALSO: Hijab Controversy: CAN Asks FG, Police To Hold Gov Abdulrasak Accountable

 

It also advised stakeholders against taken laws into their hands, stressing that peace meetings will continue between the government and stakeholders.

The Kwara government said it regrets the inconveniences the shutdown might have caused the students, saying the action was taken in the interest of peace.

Watch: Hijab Controversy: Christians, Muslims Clash As Kwara Govt Reopens Schools

Hijab Controversy: Kwara Govt Announces Reopening Of 10 Schools

File photo Students in missionary school prevented from wearing a hijab to school

 

The Kwara State Government has announced the reopening of the 10 schools shut last month over the use of hijab by Muslim female students.

This was disclosed in a statement signed on Tuesday by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Kemi Adeosun, on Tuesday night

She said the government is convinced that its policy to “allow willing Muslim schoolgirls to wear their hijab in public schools will lead to sustainable peace and communal harmony anchored on mutual respect and understanding.”

“This path to mutual respect, understanding, and peace with regards to hijaab had long been adopted in all of the northern Nigeria and many states in the Southwest such as Lagos, Osun, Ekiti, and Oyo States.

READ ALSO: Alleged Fraud: JAMB Parades Own Staff For Extorting Admission Seekers

“As the students resume normal classes, the government took special notice of the plight of those of them preparing for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination and hereby directs affected schools to hold at least two-hour extra lesson for all the intending candidates after school hours daily,” the statement read in part.

The Permanent Secretary added that the government will provide light lunch for the students until the beginning of their exams while teachers allotted for the extra coaching will get stipends for their efforts.

“This is to bring the students up to speed ahead of the impending external examination.

The closure of the schools was necessary to forestall security breaches which may affect lives and properties,” the statement added.

She added that the government sincerely commends the Christian and Muslim leaders for their understandings and their efforts to build peace within their respective communities in the past weeks.

The government also warned school principals and teachers in the affected schools to take special note of the policy.

“There will be zero tolerance for violations of anyone’s fundamental human rights under their watch,” Adeosun said.

The hijab controversy started over three weeks ago when officials of Saint Anthony Secondary School prevented Muslim female students from gaining entrance to the school claiming that it is a missionary school.

Several meetings were held between Muslim and Christian leaders to resolve the issue with the government temporarily closing down the ten schools until the reopening on Wednesday morning.

The ownership of the ten schools is still pending in the Supreme Court as both the High Court and Appeal Court affirmed the state government as the owner.

The Christians angered by the situation said the government should wait for the outcome of the judgement of the Supreme Court before fully taking over the schools.

The Kwara state government has taken over all the missionary schools owned by Christian and Muslims since 1974.

Hijab Controversy: Again, Kwara Govt Shuts 10 Schools

Students in missionary school prevented from wearing Hijab to school

 

Kwara State Government has again shut 10 schools, where the use of hijab is disputed.

The Ministry of Education in the state announced this in a statement on Monday, citing safety reasons.

According to the Ministry’s permanent secretary, Kemi Adeosun, the schools earlier told to reopen on Monday, will remain shut.

“The Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development wishes to inform members of the public that the 10 government schools where the use of Hijab is disputed will remain shut until a later date.

READ ALSO: Kwara Govt Approves Wearing Of Hijab In Schools

“This decision has been taken for safety reasons,” the statement read in part.

According to the statement, the schools include C&S College Sabo Oke, ST. Anthony College, Offa Road, ECWA School, Oja Iya, Surulere Baptist Secondary School, Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam, 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.

“The government, therefore, directs schoolchildren and teachers in the affected schools to remain at home until the contrary is announced. The government remains committed to fairness, pluralism, and respect for the law and rights of every citizen at all times,” the statement added.

The government, in February , ordered the temporary closure of 10 grant-aided secondary schools in Ilorin, the state capital, pending the resolution of the controversy in the schools.

Muslim leaders had insisted that students should be allowed to use the head covering but their Christian counterparts said such negates the heritage of the missions, who built the schools.

However, after several peace meetings, the state government approved the use of hijab in all public schools in the state and ordered the reopening of the affected schools on March 8.

COVID-19: Kwara State Announces Total Lockdown

File: The governor of Kwara State Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq.

 

The Kwara State Government has announced a total lock down of the entire sixteen local government areas until further notice.

The Chairman, Technical Committee on COVID-19 and the Deputy Governor of the State, Kayode Alabi, announced this while addressing journalists in Ilorin.

He said the order would take effect from six o clock in the evening (Thursday).

READ ALSO: Hold Buhari, APC Responsible For Any COVID-19 Upsurge – PDP

The markets will, however, be allowed to open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday between ten in the morning and two in the afternoon.

Kwara Government Demolishes Saraki’s Family Property In Ilorin

 

The Kwara State government on Thursday demolished Bukola Saraki’s family property popularly known as Ile Arugbo (old people’s home) in Ilorin, the state capital.

The property was demolished early in the morning after police dispersed protesters, including old women.

READ ALSO: Saraki, Kwara Govt At Loggerheads Over Land Ownership

Policemen, numbering about 50 were said to have gone to enforce the action at about 3:00 am but were initially resisted by some the old women.

The security agents later returned at 4:00 am when the structure was evetually pulled down.

The structure was used as a venue for political meetings when the Saraki family held sway over Kwara Government.

Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, had earlier in December announced his decision to revoke the late Olusola Saraki’s property owing to alleged illegality in its acquisition.

He said the land was originally designated for the construction of a secretariat and parking lot of the civil service clinic.

But former senate president, Bukola Saraki countered this statement, saying his late father lawfully acquired the land from the state government.

See more photos from the demolition below…

Facilities In Place To Check Cholera Outbreak – Kwara Govt

The Kwara State Government says it has swung into action to halt the spread of a suspected cholera outbreak in some parts of Ilorin, the state capital.

The Secretary to the State Government,  Mr Isiaka Gold who led government’s delegate on a tour of some primary health centers, cottage hospitals and general hospitals in Ilorin, said the government is taking serious measures to contain its spread.

The State Commissioner for Health, Atolagbe Alege, told journalists that the government was caught unawares by the outbreak.

He, however, noted that the ministry was on top of the situation and would ensure that it curtailed the spread of the disease.

Alege further stated that the ministry had deplored human and material resources to some health centres.

Also according to him, the ministry has embarked on enlightenment campaigns across the state to educate the public on the need to be hygiene conscious.

A consultant epidemiologist at one of the hospitals visited, noted that the hospital had recorded 67 cases in a space of two weeks.

She, however, commended the government for its quick response and pro-activeness, giving an assurance that the staff were well equipped to handle such cases.

According to her, the treatment centre is “fully functional with beds and the conditions are good in terms of the installed capacity as well as food for the patients.”

Kwara Govt. To Strengthen Agriculture Off-Takers

kwara-mapThe Kwara State government has said that it will encourage multiple innovations in its current drive on agriculture Off-Takers Demand.

The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mahmud Babatunde Ajeigbe, said that the off-takers demand initiative was to reduce the problem associated with farm product gluts and ensure that farmers attract patronage on their farm produce.

Mr Ajeigbe, further stated that the establishment of the state Agro mall was to alleviate the suffering of farmers in accessing farm support, saying the mall had assisted farming activities.

“The mall embarked on enumeration of farmers in the state, to see how more help could come their way as part of diversification of the nation’s economy”. He said.

Nevertheless, the commissioner reiterated the commitment of the state government to lend financial support to farmers in the state whenever the need arises.

He urged those who defaulted in the previous Agric credit facilities to redeem without further delay.

He further assured that the office of Technical Adviser of Small and Medium enterprises had been mandated to provide assistance to farmers, to ensure all year round food security.

According to the chairman Association of Nigeria Farmers in Offa Local Government Area, Mr. Yahaya Afolabi said the association had become more organized and keyed into the National Policy on Agriculture.

He also lamented that members of the association need more assistance in  identification of off-takers for farm produce.

“The association needs funds and assistance on essential machinery and timely cultivation of farmland”, He said.

Kwara Govt. To Sanction Doctors Practising At Home

Abdulfatah-AhmedThe Kwara State Government has said that it will sanction doctors who are found to be operating medical services in their place of residence in the state.

The State Commissioner for Health, Mr Sulaiman Atolagbe Alege, while speaking to newsmen in Ilorin, the state capital, described the act as illegal and said that such has not been discovered, the ministry is on the watch out to bring culprits to book.

“The Kwara state ministry of health has a monitoring team that is saddled with the responsibility of monitoring and checking some of this illegal practices. If anyone is caught, he/she will be sanctioned.” He stated.

Meanwhile, a medical doctor who doubles as a Consultant of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor Rabiu Yinka has attributed the problem to faulty structure in the country.

According to Prof. Rabiu, he lamented that there should be relevant policies and structure to accommodate medical doctors before graduation.

He said, some graduate doctors indulge in the practice after failing to secure a place for their internship upon graduating from medical School.

However, the professor, who is also the chief medical director of Surulere Hospital in Ilorin, has appealed to the government to focus more on areas that can help to eradicate poverty, rather than embark on infrastructural projects.

“You cannot eradicate problems such as this except necessary policies and structures are put in place by the government at all levels.

“I want to enjoin government to concentrate on how to focus on poverty eradication, rather than going into some unnecessary projects.
Projects are good in fact it helps the state but the people should be helped,” Prof. Rabiu added.

In the same vein, a medical doctor, Dr. Olayiwola Ismail said that graduates in the field, are not certified to operate until they have undergone internship training.

However, he advised the public not to patronise doctors who operate from their homes for their health sake.

Geri-Alimi Underpass: Kwara Govt. Compensates Affected Property Owners

Geri-Alimi Underpass: Kwara Govt. Compensates Affected Property OwnersThe Kwara State government has commenced payment of compensation to land and property owners in the right of way of the construction of the diamond underpass at Geri-Alimi in Ilorin.

A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Abdulwahab Oba, revealed that the compensation paid to owners of residential buildings, shops and lands was to the tune of 30 million naira.

Presenting cheques to the beneficiaries, the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr Aro Yahaya, said the amount of money paid was determined by property valuers based on the value of the property.

He noted that although some structures along the axis were illegal, government would go ahead and compensate the affected individuals.

Mr Yahaya stated that the gesture indicates that “our word is our bond”, stressing that the state government has fulfilled the promise made when it flagged off the underpass.

He urged the people of the community to cooperate with the contractor to ensure smooth completion of the project.

In an interview with reporters, some of the beneficiaries commended the state government for the prompt payment of compensation.

They expressed optimism that the project would boost social and economic activities in the area.

Kwara Government Denies Sacking 700 Teachers

Kwara, Teachers, TESCOMThe Kwara State government has debunked a report by an online medium that 700 teachers recruited into the state’s Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) in 2014 without approval have been laid off.

The state government, through a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Communications, Dr. Muideen Akorede, described the report as false, misleading and lacking any basis in fact.

The governor’s media aide insists there has never been any intention to terminate their services of the teachers in question.

He clarified that the State Governor, Mr Abdulfatah Ahmed, had directed TESCOM to regularise the employment of the affected staff based on qualification and needs.

He stated that the State Executive Council had approved sanctions for the officials, including serving and retired personnel that facilitated the unauthorised recruitment of the workers.

According to the statement, TESCOM would conduct relevant process for the normalisation of employment of the affected staff with emphasis on those with appropriate qualifications in Mathematics, English and the core science subjects.

Dr. Akorede also referred to a Government House statement which noted that Governor Ahmed ruled out sacking the affected workers, in order not to worsen the unemployment situation in the Kwara State.

He, therefore, urged the public to disregard the false publication.

Kwara State Seeks Saudi Arabia’s Support In Education, Manufacturing

How We Utilized N5b Paris Club Refund – Gov. AhmedThe Kwara State government is seeking the support of the Saudi Arabian government in the areas of education, agriculture and manufacturing to enhance socio-economic development of the state.

The state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, made request at Agbeyangi in Ilorin East Local Government Area during the foundation laying of a University.

Governor Ahmed in his speech urged the Saudi Arabian government to sustain its support and partnership with the university to provide functional education in the state.

“I hope that the university would boost human capital development, make Kwara a hub of tertiary education, and provide quality conventional and entrepreneurship education.

“The university would provide youths with credible conventional and faith-based education when it begins operation in order to make youths economically self-reliant,” Ahmed said.

However, He promised that the government would continue to support efforts aimed at improving access to quality education as basic ingredient for development at all levels.