The Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA) has condemned the ban on the use of Hijab (headscarf) by Muslim female students in all Lagos Public schools, saying it would resist the policy.
In a statement signed by its National President, Prof. Wahab Egbewole and Abdur-Rahman Balogun, National Public Relations officer, the group said such ban was a breach of the fundamental rights of the students to practice their religion.
The Lagos state Government through its Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye had on Tuesday in Lagos announced a ban on Hijab for Muslim female students in all its public schools.
Mrs Oladunjoye claimed that wearing Hijab would cause confusion and break down of the law.
UNIFEMGA insisted that hijab is part religious obligation of a Muslim woman that cannot be detached from her work or studies.
The group said, “If, the Lagos state Government, or the Ministry knows that the affected students need to wear Hijab when they go for prayers or read Quran, why not for all times’’.
“It is unacceptable and laughable that wearing of Hijab will create confusion and break down of law as claimed by the commissioner during her press conference on Tuesday.
“We want to say categorically that even in advanced democracies, this right is guaranteed to Muslim female students to dress in accordance with their faith’’.
“As a Muslim alumni body, that cut across the country and beyond, we have not heard of any state or public schools where wearing of Hijab causes confusion or led to break down of law and order.
“It is actually an affront on our faith system to equate hijab with confusion or break down of law. It is also insulting to the collectivity of our faith to say that Muslims should send their daughters to private school if they want them to wear hijab!
“It must be stressed that the public schools are maintained with our taxes and we have a right to benefit from its use.
“We hereby register our protest that banning Hijab in Lagos public schools is against the Muslim fundamental human right and we will not allow our fundamental right to be trampled upon with impunity.
“UNIFEMGA urge the Lagos State Government to reverse this unpopular and ungodly decision, in the interest of peace, unity, harmony, equity and justice.”