One dead, Many Injured During Protest Over Hijab Controversy In Kwara


By John Ugo

There was confusion amid tension as one person was feared dead and several injured following a protest over the use of Hijab in Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo, in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara state.

A victim of the protect in his 20s was rushed to to a nearby hospital after he was reportedly shot.

Findings revealed that the use of Hijab had generated controversy in some missionary schools in the state over the past few months.

The State Government had on January 25th of this year 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 Thursday 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, Mr Mohammed Saifudeen, also visited the town for the same reason on Thursday.

It was gathered that fracas erupted when some Muslim parents stormed the school premises to protest the rejection of their wards and members by the school.

Eye witnesses said that the peaceful protest over the use of the hijab later degenerated into violence when an unidentified man rushed to the school to inform other protesters of a machete cut and as such worsening the situation for the Kwara government’s peace efforts.

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

The police fired warning shots into the air and teargas to dispatch the protesters in order to control the situation.

Unidentified persons from inside the Oyun Baptist High School, were seen throwing missiles at those outside the premises.

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

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

He ssid normalcy has returned to the school and that security operatives would remain there until situation is brought under control.


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