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Kwara Hijab Crisis: 151 Students May Miss WAEC, Principal Tells Panel

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The committee set up by the Kwara State Government to investigate the circumstances that led to the recent violence in Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo, on Monday began sitting in Ilorin, the state capital.

This is just as the principal of the embattled school said about 151 of its students are ready to write WAEC while the school is still closed.

At its inaugural sitting, the chairman of the panel, Dr Shehu Omoniyi, explained that it was not to witch-hunt anyone but critically assess the situation and make specific recommendations to the government to prevent a reoccurrence.

He sought for corporation and urged invitees to speak the truth whenever they are called upon adding that there’s no need to try to mislead the panel.

“We want to work with the fear of God and I hope at the end of the day, all sides will be happy with our recommendations”, he submitted.

Dr Omoniyi called for religious tolerance and understanding for peaceful co-existence.

In his submission, the Principal of the school, Mr Francis Lambe, who narrated what transpired in the school between Wednesday January 19, 2022 and Thursday February 3, 2022, when the issue of hijab took another dimension, said the resistance to the hijab was strictly from the Christian body in the community.

Mr Lambe explained that several meetings he held with some stakeholders to allow peace to reign in the school did not yield result.

He said government owns the school and is responsible for payment of its teachers, saying the only role played by the Baptist is advise the government on the choice of principal, as has been the culture in schools originally owned by missionaries.

The Principal, who disclosed that the school has a population ratio of 47% Muslims and 53% Christians, agreed that the wearing of hijab by willing Muslim girls did not have any negative effect on the school.

“What I will recommend to the government is to invite the CAN and the concerned Muslim stakeholders and let them understand that policy is policy and pacify the two sides. Now, our school is closed. We have our SS3 students about 151 students ready to write WAEC,” he added.

The embattled school had been under lock and key for over a month following the crisis which erupted when some members of a Christian group disallowed some female Muslim students who wore hijab from entering the school.

The incident was coming just after a year that the state witnessed a similar incident over the same issue in 2021.
Daily Trust

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