By Gbenga Olarinoye & Sam Eyoboka
Osogbo—The face-off between Christian and Muslim leaders degenerated, yesterday, but the timely intervention of Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Adewale Akanbi, saved what could have snowballed into major religious crisis as some Christian students of Baptist High School, Adeeke, Iwo for the second day appeared in church robes to attend classes for the day.
In defiance to Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s warning on Tuesday that any student found disobeying school rules and regulations risk expulsion, some students who arrived the school for the day’s lessons in church robes were turned back by security men manning the gate who however allowed female Muslim students who wore hijab as a complement to their uniforms into the school premises.
However, some Christian leaders who initially kept a safe distance watching the unfolding event at this point moved to the gate to ensure that their children also gained access to the school premises.
The Christians eventually gained access into the premises. Muslim leaders who were around the school premises also moved to the gate and a face-off ensued between the two groups.
It was gathered that the paramount ruler of the town, Oba Akanbi, stepped in by personally visiting the school to douse the tension by inviting both the Christian and Muslim leaders to his palace for a meeting.
The battle after a while, turned spiritual as Christians in the state, yesterday, organised an interdenominational prayer where they offered prayers to God to intervene on the issue of hijab and the court ruling.
The prayer rally which was attended by over 200 pastors and thousands of Christian faithful across all denominations in the 30 Local Government Areas of the State including Ife East Area Office was held at Dominion Hall of Osun Baptist Conference, Gbodofon, Osogbo .
The prayer called by the State CAN Chairman, Reverend Dr. Elisha Ogundiya and led by his Vice, Pastor Moses Adedeji Ogundeji, was meant to reject the court ruling on hijab and other alleged islamisation plot by the state government.
Dr Ogundiya told Vanguard that the prayer was also meant to seek for peace from God and to “nullify anti-Kingdom laws and dealings with satanic forces that are tormenting the state for the past few weeks”.
Meanwhile, Baptist High School, Iwo where students went to school, yesterday, with various choir and church apparels as well as hijab was condoned-off by the police after it was shut by the state government, as the Christian and Muslim leaders held meetings with the Iwo monarch, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi to find solution to the impasse.
CAN condemns hijab ruling in Osun state
Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday, expressed disappointment over recent High Court judgment in Osun State on the use of hijab in all schools including missionary schools, describing the development as unfortunate which may send a wrong signal that Osun State Government is clearly favouring one religion over the other.
The meeting which was well attended, had in attendance the National Officers of the Association, all the five Heads of blocs, the zonal chairmen, the states chairmen and delegates representing the five blocs of the association; Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/ Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (CPFN/PFN), TEKAN/ECWA, and Organisation of African Instituted Churches