Following the alleged attacks on Christians and church properties in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, amid the ongoing crisis over the use of hijab , the Archbishop of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Kwara State, Most Reverend Israel Amoo, says such attacks may lead to a bigger crisis.
The cleric advised the Kwara State Government to return to the negotiation table with all stakeholders towards finding a lasting solution to the hijab controversy in the state.
Amoo, in a statement titled, ‘Our stand on the ongoing hijab controversy in Kwara State,’ said the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kwara State had made the position of the owners of missionary schools in the state known in clear and unambiguous terms.
He said, “We absolutely align with the position of CAN and restate that we do not allow the use of hijab in our schools as it negates our beliefs and doctrinal principles on which the schools were founded in the first place.
“These schools have been in existence for many years. We even learnt on good authority that the incumbent Governor of Kwara State (AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq) attended one of them. Over the years, Christian and Muslim students have been coexisting therein without acrimony on a religious basis. Why are we now creating these problems to heat up the polity unnecessarily?”
Amoo reminded the governor that the issue was already with the Supreme Court and that all parties needed to maintain the status quo pending the outcome of the matter.
He said, “We, as Christians, are peaceful, law-abiding and God-fearing people. However, we would neither compromise our faith nor trade away our heritage as a result of intimidation or harassment of any magnitude or intensity.
“The resort to attacks on our people and properties will do no one any good but may result in conflagration (sic), the effect of which no one will be able to imagine.”
However, the National Coordinator of the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, disagreed with the Anglican Church, insisting that the issue of hijab wearing by Muslim female students in state government grant-aided schools was already a settled issue.
According to him, the Kwara State High Court and the Court of Appeal had made it clear in their respective judgments in 2014 and 2019.