The Muslim Congress has called on the Federal and Oyo State Governments to wade into the ragging Hijab crisis at the International School, Ibadan owned by the University of Ibadan in Oyo State.
The call is one of the high points contained in the 15th series of the Quarterly State of the Nation Address by the “TMC Committee on Social Mobility, The Economy and Politics”, presented on Saturday in Lagos.
The General-Secretary of the TMC, Alhaji Abd’Wasi Bangbala presented the address on behalf of the Chairman of the committee, Dr Luqman AbdurRaheem, who doubles as the Amir (President of TMC).
“For the umpteenth time, we condemn the Hijab crisis at the International School Ibadan (ISI) operated by the University of Ibadan and we urge the Federal Government and the new government of Oyo State led by Governor Seyi Makinde to wade into the matter and restore normalcy and decency to the institution.
“Until the Supreme Court makes a final judgement on the issue of female Muslims wearing their Hijab across the length and breadth of the country, we will continue to speak up on the injustice and harassment meted out to female Muslims.
“The case at ISI has dragged on for too long with the school authorities insisting on maintaining the status quo leading to the collapse of the out-of-court negotiations and the consequent psychological problems the affected school children are going through on a daily basis.
“It is therefore in order that the Muslim Parents’ Forum (MPF) of ISI has gone back to court to challenge the infringement of their children’s fundamental rights to wear Hijab.
“We urge the court to ensure speedy trial so that the case can be laid to rest and the students will be able to properly concentrate on their studies,” the address read in part.
The Organisation also want the Federal Government to release the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and place him under house arrest.
“The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has been in detention since the confrontation between its members and the Nigerian military in December 2015.
“A similar occurrence happened in July 2014.
“The series of occurrences may have informed the decision by the Federal Government to keep him in detention.
“Though some courts have ordered the release of the Islamic leader, the Federal Government has affirmed its position that it is keeping him in protective custody in order to ensure his personal safety and to protect public peace.
“But in recent times, the renewed agitation by members of the group for the release of their leader has led to protests in Kaduna and Abuja, and then in the South-West in Lagos.
“These protests that are becoming violent and leading to loss of lives need to be pro-actively addressed.
“While the Federal Government is duty-bound to ensure and enforce public security, the IMN leader also has rights to personal freedom as pronounced by the courts.
“Without diminishing the fact that public security supersedes personal freedom, we urge the government to release the IMN leader from detention and place him under house arrest in a safe and protected house in Kaduna where some of his members can have limited access to him.
“We believe this will douse the restiveness of its members and reduce the insecurity in the land till the situation is permanently resolved.
“Otherwise, he should be charged to court to defend himself against any offence he may have committed. We also urge the members of the IMN to desist from violent protests and to keep public peace and order,” the committee said.
By Oluwashina Iyanda