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Exclusive: The Truth About Osun CAN, Aregbesola and Hijab



NOTE: This is an unedited opinion of the writer. It is published verbatim.


By Remi Omowaiye

The media space has been unabatedly washed with the news of the latest controversy surrounding the use of Hijab by students of the Muslim descent in Osun schools and I am particularly pained that our glowing Osun has again been put in a bad perception as a result of the brouhaha caused by some students who appeared in school in Choir robes and other Church garments leading to undue media attention, yes I mean undue and unnecessary media attention. For crying out loud, the show of madness under the supervision of a religious body was carried by less than 10 students of the over 600,000 students in Osun public school and It is important that we set the record straight, the simulacrum show only happened in just one school, Baptist High School Iwo of the over 2500 public schools in the State of Osun and it was this same Baptist High School Iwo that a similar incident happened about two years ago.
For us to be empirical, it is very important that I stress the fact that 10 of our 600,000 is very INSIGNIFICANT. I also think I need to reiterate the fact that Article 8 of the 2004 directives of the state government says “there are no public mission school presently in Osun State as all schools have been taken over by government in 1975”.

osun students appear in germant

It is a must at t point, that I give a background information on the latest Hijab furor , the Osun Government at a time banned the use of Hijab in public schools across the state and the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) felt it was an abused of their privilege , so they decided in collaboration with the Osun State Muslims Community to approach the High court in 2013 to challenge the State Government decision and in the process the Osun CAN was joined in the suit and after about 3 years of legal battle,Its was ruled that the State Government erred in her decision to stop wearing of Hijab in public school , the court held that wearing Hijab was part of the fundamental rights of Muslims’ female pupils. The court further ruled that any act of molestation, harassment, torture or humiliation against female Muslim students using Hijab constitutes a clear infringement on their fundamental human right as contained in Section 38 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria but this didn’t go well with Osun CAN who instead of accepting the verdict of the court or simply proceed to the appellate court to seek redress threw caution to the wind with a directive that Christian students show start putting up Choir robes and other Church garments to school but Why was it difficult for the Osun CAN to challenge the ruling at an appellate court instead of instigating crisis ? Lagos Muslim Community got a judgment that didn’t favour them at a lower court on the same matter, they simply proceeded to an appellate court to appeal the judgment of the Lagos High Court, so why the fuss Osun CAN ? I understand Hijab is part of the decency and modesty of a female Muslim in line with quranic injunction, this which implies that those wearing Hijab choose to because they believe it is liberating and allows them to avoid harassment and good enough, the court verdict is only for concerned Muslims, it’s not being imposed on ANY STUDENTS ,so I would have expected our revered CAN to display high level of religion tolerance as preached by our Lord Jesus Christ.

I schooled at the Baptist Secondary School,Oke-Ado Ibadan over 2 decades ago, Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) was compulsory for all students as well as Bible Knowledge (BK) irrespective of your faith , we had no problem with anyone wearing Hijab, MSSN had a praying ground within the school compound , the then Oyo CAN never for once raised eyebrow, so what is the problem with Osun CAN ? I have repeatedly asked why this unnecessary friction on Hijab ? Both Public and Private sector workers including Bankers and Medical Practitioner, Students of tertiary institutions, even Corp member on their Ajuwaya khaki are allowed are allowed to put on Hijab .For the records, Muslims women wear Hijab at home, to bed, to market, to school, to work, to everywhere they go, and it’s a way of life for them . Even schools in the Western world, the origin of Christianity , Hijab is allowed.The renowned US Basketball kid star Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir is always deck in Hijab playing Basketball, as a matter of fact she became new state scoring leader at a time, several female players of Muslim extraction on Fordson High School Michigan Basketball team, Muslim ladies who are Police officer in Scotland Yard and those with the US marine are allowed to wear Hijab on their uniform, so What is our problem ? I presume the face-off orchestrated by the leadership of Osun CAN is another case of ‘sibling rivalry’ between the religious leaders who have missed the way of the Lord by several miles and are groping in the dark to find some relevance because if not, the Osun CAN leadership will not continue to disobey constituted authority, the Osun Government is a constituted authority, the Osun State High court is a constituted authority. The Holy Bible speaks VERY CLEARLY about the relationship between the Christian and the Government. We are to obey governmental authorities and Even  when the government does not live up to its role, we are still to live up to ours , Christians are obliged to obey God by respecting government .

Two of the highly respected apostles in the Bible made this point in their letters. We must remember that God created the authorities ruling over us just as He created us. As Paul wrote to the Romans, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1-2) ,the Roman government of the time had its own problems with corruption and abuse of power. But such behavior does not give people an excuse to disobey the law or disrespect the authority of their leaders. postle Peter also gave his readers the same instruction, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13-14) “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no one …” (Titus 3:1-2).

All this does not mean that we are to disobey God in situations where the law of man may conflict with the law of God (Acts 4:18-20; Acts 5:40), Whenever a government violates biblical teaching, Christians are obligated to disobey that government but how doesn’t putting on of Hijab violates the scripture ? Does Hijab pose any danger or how does the fight against the use of Hijab affect the job of soul winning that our pastors are commissioned to do ? We are to love and tolerate our neighbours and wearing of Hijab only collaborate a portion of the scripture that preaches against nudity. My defense is based on personal conviction and use of common sense NOT because of my political affiliation. I must advice our leaders under the auspices Osun CAN to quickly reset their brain, retrace their steps and go and ask God for forgiveness for faulting Gods instruction by disobeying a constituted authority as contained in the Holy Scripture.
What is expected of any peace loving religious organisation at this crucial stage of our existence as State is to continually pray for the State and not to continually fan discord , Apostle Paul exhorts us pray “for kings and all who are in authority” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

I will only take Osun CAN serious if they can mobilise Christian female workers in Public and Private services to start appearing in Choir robe and Church garments at their various places of work , to show that they want to really compete with the Muslim since Hijab is allowed , I expect to get to Ecobank Ogo Oluwa Branch ,Skye Bank Oke fia Branch Osogbo and see some of their female staffs of Christian extraction putting on Choir robe or Sutana as the case maybe , I also except to get to Secretariat Abere and see some female members of staff of Christian faith putting on same in
solidarity with Osun CAN , at least Muslim female workers are allowed to deck in Hijab ,while they must also not forget to mobilise NYSC Corp member going for CDS to put on CAC Choir robe on their NYSC khaki, then we shall beginning to take the leadership of CAN serious because how will a sane human compare Hijab with Choir robe and Church garment ? Hijab is part of day to day dressing of a Muslim lady while Choir robe and Church garments
are just seasonal and ceremonial wear .
I am just bordered that the Osun Governor is just been put in bad light by some media cohorts of the CAN leadership for no just reason , Its quite unfortunate that Aregbesola who was busy finalising agreement for the construction a 20MW hydro power plant at Kajola by CBC Energy while the show of shame was ragging on is now been blamed by some uninformed mind, his case is sincerely the case of the ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown’
because only recently he was alleged by a Muslim cleric of the raising the profile of traditional religionists and that he is not a true Muslim yet he is been alleged by a fraction of the Christian leaders of Islamisation plot while he is striving so hard to provide a level playing field for all religions because Nigeria is a secular State , anyway Ebenezer Obey has ended it all with ko sogbon to le da, ko si wa to le hun, ko sona to le to , to le fi t’aye lorun oh .
I conclude by simply urging the Osun CAN Media collaborators not to forget to report the fact that proposed Bisi Akande Trumpet Bridge at Gbongon Junction is gradually taking shape . God will continue to bless Osun



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