Hostility over Hijab-wearing by students surfaces in Kwara again

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Some Muslim parents on Thursday stormed Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo, in the Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State to protest against the rejection of their wards in the school.

However, the protest which started as a peaceful one, took a violent turn when an unidentified man rushed to the school to inform other protesters of a machete cut.

This triggered an angry reaction from the protesting Muslim parents as they looked around for various weapons to defend themselves. However, police officers swiftly dispatched them.

NAN reports that the police fired warning shots into the air and also used teargas to dispatch the protesters in order to control the situation as unidentified persons from inside the Oyun Baptist High School, were seen throwing missiles at those outside the premises.

Meanwhile, several persons have sustained varying degrees of injury.

For instance, a man in his early 20s was seen being rushed to a nearby hospital for reportedly being shot at.

Normalcy was however restored by a combined team of police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The Public Relations Officer of the Kwara Police Command, Ajayi Okasanmi, said security personnel had been deployed to the scene to restore peace.

Okasanmi said normalcy has returned to the school and that security operatives would remain there until the area was safe for the residents.

The controversies surrounding the use of Hijab in schools have rocked Kwara State, particularly in schools which have identified as missionary schools.

On January 25, the government restated its policy and directed management of schools in the state to allow the use of Hijab by willing Muslims without forcing it on anyone or turning them back for using it.

Some Muslim parents and their wards were seen on some major streets of Ilorin on Wednesday protesting against the management of Oyun Baptist High School for turning back some students for wearing Hijab.

A government delegation, led by the Commissioner for Education, Hajia Sa’adatu Kawu, had twice visited the school to resolve the matter.

Another delegation led by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mohammed Saifudeen, also visited the town for the same reason on Thursday.

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