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MSSN Lagos commends Nigerians for supporting use of hijab in public schools

The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos State Area Unit has commended Nigerians for throwing their weight behind the use of hijab in public schools. The commendation came following an overwhelming 65 per cent ‘Yes’ vote in an on-going online opinion poll being conducted by The Punch Newspaper which seeks to know Nigerians’ view concerning whether pupils should be allowed to wear hijab to public schools.

As at 12.45pm on Friday March 8, 2013, six hundred and seventy-three (673) out of one thousand and forty-two (1042) total respondents said ‘YES’ to the question ‘Should pupils be allowed to wear Hijab to public schools,’ while 355 representing 35 per cent responded ‘No’. The remaining 14 representing 1 per cent of the total respondents were undecided.

The survey opened on Thursday February 28, 2013, a day members of the MSSN Lagos State Area Unit from secondary schools and higher institutions across the state stormed the Governor’s Office in Alausa in protest against the victimisation of Muslim girls wearing hijab in Lagos public schools. A statement signed by the group’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Sulaimon Alamutu, said the result of the poll, though unscientific, was a reflection of Nigerians’ believe in, and respect for the fundamental human rights of Muslims to practice and manifest their religion without interference from any quarters.

It said the Lagos State government should take a cue from the opinions of Nigerians and take necessary steps towards addressing the persecution of Muslim girls currently being molested because of hijab by school principals across the state. ‘We have said it severally that the issue of hijab is a fundamental right issue which no law or administrative procedure could override. So, the result of the Punch’s survey showed that Nigerians are rational human beings who will not allow myopic reasoning overshadow their sense of justice,’ it said.

The statement also warned the state commissioner of education, Mrs Adeyinka Oladunjoye, against further exacerbating the crisis on hijab by insisting that Muslim girls would not be allowed to wear it either during school hour or outside the school hour.

From our findings, we learnt Mrs Oladunjoye is insisting on an illegal personal stance that no student will be allowed to wear hijab in Lagos schools. This is against the agreement reached with us before our protest at the governor’s office was suspended.

‘Let us state unequivocally that we will not relent on this issue until justice is done, and until the victimisation of our members stopped,’ it added.

 

 

 

Signed:

Sulaimon Alamutu
Public Relations Officer (PRO)
Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit

 

 

Press Conference addressed by the Assistant General Secretary, MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit, Mallam Sulaiman Dhikrillah, under the aegis of Council of Higher Institutions (COHI), an arm of the Unit, on Tues

 

Text of the Press Conference addressed by the Assistant General Secretary, Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit, Mallam Sulaiman Dhikrillah, under the aegis of Council of Higher Institutions (COHI), an arm of the Unit, on Tuesday 5 March, 2013 on the Hijab crisis at the Unit Secretariat, Ebute Metta, Lagos.

In the name of Allah The Most Gracious The Most Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Whole Worlds. May His peace and blessing be upon Prophet Muhammad, members of his household, companions and followers until the End of Time.

We welcome you all to this important press conference.
Sequel to the peaceful protest that we had on Thursday February 28, 2013 at the Governor’s Office, Alausa, Ikeja, against the continued victimisation, molestation and harassment of our sisters in Lagos State secondary schools over Hijab by their principals, we deem it necessary to tell the world the agreements we reached with government delegation before the almost nine hours protest was suspended.

Our representatives met with the government delegation which comprised Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr Oyinlomo Danmole, Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, Commissioner for Information, Mr Aderemi Ibirogba, Alhaji Hakeem Kosoko, Special Adviser to the Governor on Religious Affairs (Islam) and a delegation from the State Ministry of Education.

Our demands tabled before the government were as follow:
1. The principals of Kadara Junior Grammar School, Mrs E.C Upaka, and that of Mafoluku Senior Grammar School, Mrs Elizabeth Omidele, should be sacked.
2. The immediate reinstatement of Barira Tajudeen, the girl suspended for using Hijab outside school premises in Mafoluku Senior Grammar School, Oshodi.
3. That the victimization, harassment and maltreatment of our members should be stopped forthwith.
4 Use of Hijab as a part of School Uniform in public Secondary school in the State as granted by the constitution.

fter hearing our demands the government delegation presented evidence that investigation into the matter had commenced and gave a pledge to follow it to a logical conclusion ensuring that justice is served.

The delegation also assured that Bareeroh would be reinstated to school and shall not be disturbed in any manner from writing her exams. We however gathered that Bareerah has been called back to school under a stringent condition. The principal has coerced Bareera to sign an undertaken antithetical to this resolution more so she was made to serve punishment on the assembly for the same reason. It is our further request that the government would call the principal of Mafoluku to order in the spirit of justice.

They promised to issue a circular to stop the school authorities and Teachers from molesting our members over the use of hijab.

The delegation said our demand regarding making use of Hijab part of school uniform is a State Executive Council decision to make. They promised to table the demand at the SEC on Monday March 3rd (yesterday).
All these, the government representatives promised to effect before Friday March 8, 2013 and we shall be contacted for a meeting on Friday to brief us on efforts on our demands. 

Gentlemen of the press, let us reiterate once again that we are not out to fight the government. What we are demanding is the recognition and protection of our rights as guaranteed by the country’s constitution. The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit is known for peace and we have always been peaceful in the manner we carry out our activities.

We equally want to advise the government against reneging on these agreements as doing so may disrupt the relative peace being enjoyed in the state at the moment. We are saying this because some unknown elements in Lagos Island, which we firmly believe are sponsored by the state government, have been going on air to possibly create confusion in the minds of the public regarding what we are fighting for. 

Gentlemen of the press, we are only demanding that our constitutionally guaranteed right should not be denied us. As I said earlier, we will not resort to lawlessness but at the same time we will not relent until justice is done.

We thank you for coming and we pray Allah (SWT) reward you all abundantly, amin.

 

 

MSSN Lagos calls for suspension of erring principal

 

Twelve-year–old and a JSS 1 student of Kadara Junior Grammar School, Ebute Metta, Lagos, Aisha Alabi was recently subjected to very horrible and inhuman treatment by the School Principal, Mrs. E.C Ukpaka, because she used hijab.

The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos State Area Unit in a press release signed by its PRO, Sulaimon Alamutu, therefore called the attention of the state government and the entire peace-loving citizens of the state to the inhuman, unprofessional and barbaric act of the principal.

“Our findings show that Aisha wore the Hijab outside the class in the school compound when she was seen by Mrs. Ukpaka who immediately called an emergency assembly and allegedly ordered her to be beaten. The students at the assembly, we learnt, counted no less than 43 strokes of cane landing on the hapless little girl’s body!

This happened on Tuesday February 5, 2013 around some minutes to 4pm. This is quite unfortunate and unacceptable in a country where the constitution guarantees the citizens right to practice and manifest any religion of their choice without any interference from any quarter.”

If all these provisions are clearly guaranteed in the nation’s constitution, we are seriously at a loss as to why Mrs. Ukpaka, who we expected to know better and act accordingly, would deliberately and with impunity; violate the provisions of the constitution. Aside the fact that the principal brazenly violated the constitution, what if the little girl dies in the process of beating her, what excuse would she give as her reason?

 

This amounts to child abuse!” Mrs Ukpaka’s action demonstrates the deep hatred and disgust that most non- Muslims school principals in Lagos State have against our law abiding female members.

Hers is not the first as others had done similar thing in the past without any disciplinary action against them by the state government. In the light of this, the student body called for the immediate suspension of Mrs. Ukpaka and orders a full investigation into the matter.

 

“Ours is a law abiding organisation and the state government can attest to this fact. It should be noted that the leadership of the MSSN Lagos State Area Unit had had course in the past to keep its members across the state calm over recurrent abuses and discriminations against our sisters in the face of government’s indifference towards bringing to justice those maltreating them because of Hijab.

However, we must state that failure to take disciplinary action against Mrs. Ukpaka this time around would draw the anger of the entire Muslim Students’ population in the state.”

 

MUSLIM STUDENTS PROTEST DISCRIMINATION AGAINST HIJAB IN LAGOS

 

"There are some situations one simply cannot be neutral about, because when you are neutral, then you are an accomplice. Objectivity doesn't mean treating all sides equally. It means giving each side a hearing." - Christine Amanpour after she was criticised for supporting Bosnia Muslims in her report.

These were the feelings witnessed today by AL-FAHM's correspondents who covered the peaceful mass protest staged by the Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit against assault, maltreating and victimisation of Muslim Sisters using Hijab in secondary schools On-going

Destination.

"We are here to peacefully register our displeasure over the dehumanization, victimization and molestation of our female members by some principals and administrators in some state schools regarding the issue of hijab, which amount to gross abuse of our fundamental human rights", said, Sulaiman Dhikrullah, the leader of the students that led the protest to the Lagos State Government House, Alausa, Ikeja Lagos.

Muslim students across the state raised their pens, voices and banners to collectively condemn the discrimantion of hijab, the religious symbol of the Muslims, calling on governor Babatunde Raji Fashola to relieve with immediate effect the appointments of the principal of Kadara Junior Grammar School, Ebute Metta, Mrs E. C Ukpaka for allegedly flogged a JSS 1 student, Aisha Alabi 43 strokes of the cane.

 

MSSN, sharing glad tidings for a better Nigeria

All over the world, there seems to be no hope left for the salvation of humanity from the abyss of socio-economic crisis that man finds himself. The situation is so terrible that some have resigned to fate and are expecting that the world should just come to an end, so that judgment takes place and everybody goes to where he or she deserves. At the global stage, the level of corruption, injustice, man’s inhumanity to man and political enslavement has reached its crescendo. Powerful nations are lording it over weaker ones thereby stifling their advancement towards greatness. Economic agreements favour only the already industrialised countries.

At our local level here in Nigeria, it has reached a point of absolute hopelessness that you often hear people say the country’s poor condition is irredeemable. That Nigeria can never become a better country now or in future where things will work. This is predicated on the fact that evils, sins and vices have become the norms in our daily existence. Corruption seems to be the only way out of poverty. Malpractices are now the only shortcut to success in examinations. Smoking and alcoholism are seen as symbols of maturity and civilisation. Zina reigns among both the old and the young. Pornography is the pastime of the youths. Cyber fraud is another means to wealth in the circle of unemployed graduates and idle youths. Riba is now part of everyday life. The leaders are greedy, wicked and merciless towards the masses. Funds meant for the common good of the people are being embezzled with sheer impunity on a daily basis and the perpetrators confidently walk free. The Faruq/Otedola subsidy scam, power probe, pension probe and some others are examples of the level of degeneration in justice dispensation in the country.

However, terrible, worst and hopeless as the situation may appear at the moment, there is still hope of redemption for the nation. And this was the thinking of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos State Area Unit at the just concluded 94th edition of the Islamic Vacation Course (IVC) held between December 22, 2012 and January 1, 2013 at the Human Capital Development Centre (HCDC) in Epe and Towergate Private School, Ipaja, Lagos. Participants, drawn from secondary schools, higher institutions and working class, were taken through series of lectures, workshops and tefsir sessions by eminent scholars and professionals with a view to reassuring them that all hope is not lost after all. Some of them include the Grand Mufti of the Conference of Islamic Organisation (CIO), Sheik Dhikrillahi Shafi’, Director, Vanguard Academy, Ogun State, Dr Zafaran Adeniyi, Director, Centre for Islamic Reawakening, Yaba, Lagos, Ustadh Sa’eed Salman, Director, Hajj Mabrur Ventures, Alhaji Abdulhameed Solate and immediate past Amir of the Unit, Captain Abdulhameed Bankole.

With the theme; ‘The Glad Tidings,’ the camp sought to spur the youths, particularly Muslims, to change the current deplorable situation in the country for better. It also encouraged participants to have the belief and conviction that no matter how bad the situation appears at the moment, it could still be remedied. Participants were told that they are the hope and ‘glad tiders’ of the nation.

Speaking at the formal welcome ceremony at the HCDC, Epe venue, the Amir of the society, Alhaji Qasim Badrudeen, painted a gloomy picture of the present situation in the country. He lamented that corruption had permeated virtually all aspects of lives in the society, adding that Muslims are unfortunately not left out of the decadence. While charging participants to imbibe the lessons of the camp, Alhaji Badrudeen, also urged them to spread the message to the society and illuminate it with the light of Islam. ‘We are the hope of the world. We have to go out and change the world. We need to work tirelessly to change the society,’ he said.

Highpoint of the camp activities was the fundraising ceremony for the construction of a 10,000 capacity multi-purpose hall at the Human Capital Development Centre (HCDC).
Giving an overview of the project, chairman of the HCDC, Eng. Idris Muhammadul Awwal, said the MSSN Lagos Area Unit was aiming at constructing a world class edifice that would meet international standards. He added that the fund for the construction of the hall few years ago would first come from the members of the society before other well-wishers can come in to render assistance.
Also speaking, the Amir (President) Alhaji Qasim Badrudeen, said the leadership of the MSSN Lagos State Area Unit decided to acquire the piece of land for the HCDC few years ago, for many purposes. Among them, he said, is for the land to serve as a site for the hosting of ‘our camps.’ It is also to serve as human capital development centre for MSSN members and the generality of the public who share MSSN’s goals and objectives of reforming the society for good.

He urged participants to donate generously as Allah says in the Qur’an that whosever aid his course He would make his feet firm on the path. The 94th IVC may have come and gone, the experience will linger for long in the memories of participants as they all agreed at the end of the 10-day camping exercise that indeed hope is not lost on the nation, and that only when Muslim youths rise to the task of spreading the glad tidings of Islam that the situation will change.

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