The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has made his first official statement over the Hijab controversy.
The monarch explained why the issue should not be allowed to escalate into a crisis. The Emir described the disagreement between Christians and Muslims over the use of Hijab by female students in 10 government grant-aided schools as unwarranted.
The monarch in a statement issued by his spokesman, AbdulAzeez Arowona on Wednesday, March 17, urged people of both religions to embrace peace. The Emir added that the peace in Ilorin should not be disturbed. He said in order for peace to reign in the state, the two religions should continue to live in harmony with one another.
The emir said: “There is no fight between Muslims and Christians. Let us avoid a religious crisis of any kind. Islam and Christianity preach peace and harmony. Let us also avoid division and enmity in our society.” According to The Punch, the first-class traditional ruler said no group or individual should take laws into their hands.
He stated that the people of Ilorin are known for peaceful co-existence nationwide and urged both Muslims and Christians to be resolute in maintaining the peaceful status in the state. The monarch’s statement came after violence erupted in Ilorin when the Kwara state government reopened 10 schools shut last month over the use of hijab by Muslim female students. Channels TV reported that the violence started after Christian officials of Baptist School, Surulere disallowed girls in hijab from gaining access into the school. The action did not go down well with Muslim parents, leading to arguments and eventual clash, with both sides throwing various objects including stones and plastic chairs at each other.
Meanwhile, the Kwara state government has given its final say on the issue of hijab-wearing among Muslim students in public schools. According to a statement by the secretary to the state government, Mamman Saba Jibril, the issue has been satisfactorily settled by the Court of Appeal.