By Ola Ajayi
IBADAN— DISATISFIED with unfolding events over use of hijab by willing female Muslim students of the International School, Ibadan, parents, under the auspices of Concerned ISI Parents Initiative protested against use of the Muslim wear.
Armed with placards with inscriptions discouraging introduction of religious crisis in the 55year old school, the parents, who are Muslims, Christians and traditional worshippers, took their protest to the Governor of Board of ISI who is also the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, University of Ibadan, Professor Abideen Abiodun Aderinto.
Some inscriptions on the placards read: ‘No to religious discrimination in ISI’, ‘Say yes to peaceful co-existence in ISI’, ‘Stop, don’t divide our children’, ‘No to religious crisis’, ‘Let our uniform be uniform’ and others.
The angry parents marched to the administrative block of the University of Ibadan at 8.31 a.m.
The protesters also took a four page letter dated 20 November 2018, to register their displeasure.
In the letter entitled: ‘Clamour for the introduction of religious (Hijab) as part of the uniform of our children in the International School, University of Ibadan’, they said that Muslims, Christians and traditional religionists were part of the peaceful protest.
In the letter signed by Olalekan Thanni, Babaawo Awosanmi Abe and Olusola Aleshinloye, the parents said: “We want to use this medium to inform the management that the school is not only populated by the two dominant religions, but also has traditional believers. These groups had vowed to enforce their rights in line with their Muslim counterpart’s claim to right of use of their religious emblem in hijab wearing. A scenario in which armlet and Ifa traditional beads are freely used as religious symbols in the school will not be funny. What will then become of the uniformity concept of the uniform when the school environment could be taken as market place of sort where rainbow of apparels is the order of the day? May the day never come when ISI becomes the example of what a school environment should not be.
“The current dress code/uniform of the students of ISI, which has been in use since inception, about 55 years ago, has no religious coloration, is good enough and sufficient to fulfil our moral obligations to the children. It should not be a subject of discussion out of the jurisdiction of the constituted Board of Governors as done by this Muslim Parents Forum.”
Current closure will not be long — Aderinto
While acknowledging their concern, Professor Aderinto said: “This is just a phase that will pass in the history of ISI. I strongly believe that ISI will pass over this period. Just trust us that the current closure will not be too long, but we cannot come out we’re taking action to ensure the issue is resolved amicably and soonest.”