Isheri School Kidnap: Students’ Group Wants Security Upgraded

kidnapped, Isheri North, Isheri,The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has expressed concern over the kidnap of students and staff of Nigerian Tulip International College (formerly Turkish International School) in Ogun State.

The President of the MSSN in Lagos State, Dr. Saheed Ashafa, gave the group’s reaction to the abduction in a statement on Monday.

Dr. Ashafa also condemned the bomb attack at the University of Maiduguri early Monday morning.

His statement is coming four days after ten (10) people including students of the NTIC were abducted from their school premises.

According to Dr. Ashafa, the kidnap and bomb blasts should serve as a signal to the Federal Government and the Military that there should be no relaxation despite the fall of Sambisa forest.

While commending Nigeria security operatives for the recorded success so far, Dr. Ashafa lamented that students were the most affected victims of the horrible experiences of terrorism and kidnapping.

The MSSN Lagos leader said: “The act of turning students and educationists to money making avenue is condemnable and capable of discouraging people’s interest in education, if not properly addressed. We appeal to security operatives to do all they could to ensure the safe rescue of the victims of the kidnap incident at Turkish International school.

“The bombing of the University of Maiduguri mosque came to us as a shock. It is disheartening and incomprehensible, as it surprisingly happened at a point when many Nigerians are beginning to show confidence that terrorism is coming to an end in the country. Perpetrators of such act must be arrested and dealt with appropriately.

“However, the saddening current development is a caution to both Nigerians and security operatives. Though extremely painful, it is a bad signal that the fall of Sambisa forest, which is believed to be the headquarters of Boko Haram sect, does not automatically translate to the end of terrorism in Nigeria; so our security operatives need to do more.”‎

He feared that the incapacitation of Boko Haram to operate from Sambisa Forest could lead to the rise of terrorists’ incursion in many of Nigerian communities if government fails to act fast.

To avoid the incursion and further criminal activities, he suggested proper mobilisation of all security agencies for swift and robust internal security and surveillance.

He added, “‎School owners in Lagos have to increase their security consciousness. The frightening reports of arrest of Boko Haram suspects in the state and cases of kidnapping is discouraging and beginning to create fear among parents in the state.

“Our security operatives may also have to go and re-strategise against internal security threat that the success recorded by them in key places could cause.

“They should also begin to pay more attentions to border strips, and other states and areas that some of the fleeing terrorists could want to operate or hide”.

Ban On Hijab To Promote Unity And Orderliness – Ipaye

Legal yearThe Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Rahman Ade Ipaye has applauded the judgment of the Ikeja High Court to uphold the ban of hijabs in primary and secondary schools in the state.

Justice Modupe Onyeabo had on Friday, October 17, 2014, dismissed and ruled against the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) suit against the Lagos State Government, saying such practice would affect the secular nature of state.

Ipaye said that the Lagos State Government is in the forefront of human rights promotion in Nigeria and would not deny its citizens their religious rights.

The Lagos AG, however, observed that no right was absolute and, sometimes, public interest would justify some limitations, adding that uniforms are adopted for school children at the formative stages to encourage a sense of unity, discipline, organization and orderliness.

“We do not want school children at this age to relate on the basis of obvious religious or social classification, hence the adoption of the uniform”, he briefed.

In a statement signed by the Pro Justice, Bola Akingbade, Ipaye noted that once deviations are allowed, conscious or unconscious group affiliations would crop up and this would promote prejudices, limit interactions and weaken the sense of unity among students of the same school.

“With uniforms, students, teachers and other staff are less likely to focus on dressing or appearance as a means of determining status, religion or other socio-cultural affiliations. Every student is equal and students are not able to tease or bully each other about the style, color or quality of their clothing or their religious, social or cultural background”, he noted.

He said uniformity would also encourage focus on school work and reduce social anxiety or animosity among students while enhancing confidence and sense of belonging all around.

Ipaye, said that the State Government’s decision to refuse variations to the uniforms prescribed for use in her primary and secondary schools was not an easy one, noting that the position was reached after extensive deliberations and consultations.

In his words, “We need first to define the limits of this policy, as it is not as extensive as some portray it to be. It is only applicable in Government owned Primary and Secondary Schools where encouragement of free interaction among children from all social and religious backgrounds are a matter of State Policy. Above the secondary school level, adult students can wear whatever they like, subject only to the dictates of their particular vocation or profession.”

Even in the primary and secondary schools, Ipaye said, interested female Muslim students will be allowed to wear their hijab during Islamic Religious Knowledge classes and for afternoon or Jumat prayers.

He posited that once deviations or variations are allowed for one group, Government would have no basis for refusing it to any other social or religious group, and that will be the end of the uniform in our public primary and secondary schools.

“Once any deviation is allowed for any reason, religious, cultural or personal, there will of course be no reason for disallowing another which may be requested on similar bases,” Ipaye explained.

In her ruling, Justice Onyeabor said that Section 10 of the Constitution made Nigeria a secular state and that government must maintain neutrality at all times and that the government therefore had a duty to preserve the secular nature of the institutions concerned.

She noted that since the public schools were being funded by the government, it was therefore competent to issue dress codes and other guidelines to the students.