The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state to issue a policy to resolve the crisis emanating from the use of hijab in public schools.
The board also noted that the governor should protect the law by adhering to the court of Appeal ruling on hijab usage.
The MSSN society in a petition to the governor dated Tuesday, September 9, said a judgment of the Appeal Court on Thursday, July 21, 2016, stated that wearing of hijab by pupils was their fundamental human rights.
In the petition, the MSSN urged the governor to obey the court ruling by issuing a circular to all district heads and principals to allow pupils to wear the hijab.
The petition read in part: “The ongoing harassment of our members is not only unconstitutional, an infringement, but also contempt.
“The waves of discriminations, harassment and maltreatment have begun to rear its ugly head in different schools in Lagos State again despite the subsisting Court of Appeal ruling. The recent lawlessness and disregard for rule of law are exhibited by officials of the Lagos State Government, who claimed to be acting on the order of their superiors in the Civil Service.
“Some of the schools that recently witnessed this lawlessness are Matori Senior Grammar School, Isolo Comprehensive Junior High School, and Isolo Senior Secondary School.
“At Matori Senior Grammar School, the principal, Mrs Akintola, gave a ‘stay at home or don’t put on hijab’ order to the Muslim student. Some of the students that went with their hijab, knowing fully well that it was their fundamental human right enshrined by the constitution and upheld by a competent court of law, were prevented from joining their colleagues in the classroom. In fact, they were prevented from entering the school premises, that was built with taxpayers’ money.
“Beyond being unconstitutional, this government deliberately transferred hijab-wearing students from Ansar-Ud-Deen Comprehensive Junior High School, Okota to Matori Senior Grammar School, where it has ordered the principal not to allow them to wear hijab. This is an extreme act of lawlessness and invitation to chaos.
“At Isolo Comprehensive Junior High School, the Principal – Mrs Esther Adeniyi, placed an outright ban on hijab and asked students who want to put on hijab not to consider themselves as students of the school.
“We demand that you use your good offices to ensure a circular complying with the Court of Appeal judgement is urgently issued and pasted in all schools’ notice boards; that all principals and officials involved are sanctioned and sacked, in some cases; that the Lagos State Government should mandate its officials to respect the rights of Muslim students to practice their religion; that the Lagos State Government should be cautioned that its anti-democratic moves against Muslims may lead to chaos.”