•We’ll sue defaulters — Muslim students
By Ishola Balogun & Elizabeth Osayande
Lagos State Government, yesterday, directed full compliance with the Supreme Court judgement that students in schools across the state can wear hijab to attend classes.
In a circular directed to several public and private agencies and individuals, the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said there should be compliance with the directive, adding that it was in line with the decision of the apex court.
The statement reads: “It is, hereby, notified for general information that the Supreme Court Judgement 8C.910/2016 delivered on the 17 of June 2022, on the use of Hijab as it affects pupils/students in Lagos State schools has declared that students should be allowed to wear Hijab if desired.
“A comprehensive guideline on the use of Hijab in schools will be issued by the state government in due course. However, you are to note that the judgement is binding on all schools in the state.
“As a law-abiding administration, all accounting officers are to note the contents of this circular for immediate compliance and give it the deserved service-wide publicity. “
However, officials of the state Ministry of Education did not respond to enquiries made by Vanguard regarding details of the implementation of the directive.
We’ll sue defaulters—Muslim students
Reacting to the directive, the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria commended the state government for issuing a circular, vowing to sue any defaulter of the court’s ruling.
The Amir (President) of MSSN Lagos State Area Unit, Miftahudeen Thanni, in a statement, said: “We hope that this berths a new beginning and an end to harassment, oppression and victimisation of Muslim students on hijab.
“Though a bit delayed, this is highly commendable. We commend all the actors that made this a possibility. This shows that the Lagos State Government is law-abiding. Other states should emulate this kind of law-abiding gesture.
“However, we urge the government to ensure a thorough implementation of this circular as Muslim students have suffered a lot in the hands of many state actors.
“Although in the face of provocation, we have been law-abiding and acted responsibly, we appeal to the state government to strongly impose tough sanctions on whoever flouts the Supreme Court judgement despite that we will not also hesitate to name, shame and sue any defaulter.
“On guidelines, while we understand that the state government may be striving to ensure uniformity among others, we would love to call the attention of the state government to the Supreme Court judgement which contains some of these guidelines.
“Government should be cautious of engaging in any act that violates the Supreme Court ruling and carry Muslim organisations along in its actions.”