…Deploys security operatives to schools in Ilorin, Christian leaders, students dispersed
By Demola Akinyemi
After announcing the postponement of their resumption date indefinitely in the wee hours of yesterday over irreconcilable differences on the wearing of Hijab, Kwara State government has deployed security operatives to the 10 public/grant-aided missions schools in Ilorin, the state capital.
The state government had in the wee hours of yesterday ordered indefinite closure of the schools billed to resume yesterday.
In a statement announcing the schools closure ,Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Mrs Kemi Adeosun said in a statement titled “Hijab: 10 Kwara schools to remain shut for safety reasons.”
“The Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development wishes to inform members of the public that the 10 government schools where the use of Hijab is disputed will remain shut until a later date. This decision has been taken for safety reasons.
The schools include C&S College Sabo Oke, ST. Anthony College, Offa Road, ECWA School, Oja Iya, Surulere Baptist Secondary School, Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam, CAC Secondary School Asa Dam road, St. Barnabas Secondary School Sabo Oke, St. John School Maraba, St. Williams Secondary School Taiwo Isale, and St. James Secondary School Maraba.
“The government therefore directs schoolchildren and teachers in the affected schools to remain at home until the contrary is announced.
“The government remains committed to fairness, pluralism, and respect for the law and rights of every citizen at all times,” the statement said
At the last count, the Baptist Church which has about 23 schools scattered in the state, ECWA and Cherubim and Seraphim have insisted that they would resist Muslim pupils to wear Hijab to their schools and demanded the return of their schools by government.
The current Hijab controversy began penultimate Thursday, after series of consultations with stakeholders, when Kwara State government approved that interested Muslim students attending Christian public schools in the state could wear Hijab to schools, stressing that the right of every child in public schools to freedom of worship.
Meanwhile, Vanguard’s visit to Bishop Smith’s school, St Anthony school, C&S school, among others observed armed soldiers with pilot vehicle stationed, at the main entrance of the affected schools.
There were also plain-cloth security men seen around the schools keeping vigil.
It was gathered that some Christian leaders who mobilized students to the affected schools were dispersed by the security operatives, likewise some students who appeared in Hijab.