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Kwara: Group warns against planned protest over hijab judgement

The Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union, IEDPU, has condemned the proposed protest by some residents of Ilorin, billed for Monday over the controversial hijab issue approved by the state government.

The union warned that protest at this point could be hijacked by hoodlums and consequently turned into violence.

A statement in Ilorin by its National Publicity Secretary, Abubakar Imam, on behalf of the National President, Alhaji Aliyu Otta Uthman, described the proposed protest “as a joke taken too far.”

It further viewed the proposed protest as an “Unnecessary display of ignorance laced with arrogance and ethnocentrism by those who are out to perpetuate tyranny and injustice.”

The union ” Urged those who are not comfortable with the position of the Kwara State government to forward their grievances to the appropriate organs of government instead of resorting to illegality or self-help.”

While appreciating the rights of anyone or group to express their grievances on any issue, the union said “The people of Ilorin Emirate, are much unclear as to the necessity of the proposed protest, despite the fact that the decision of the state government on the matter, was not at variance with common sense, the provision of the 1999 constitution and the universally applauded judgement of the Court of Appeal.”

It called on the people and residents of the state to be wary of provocative actions and the attendant disruptions of peace and tranquillity of the state over what it described as “A forgone issue.”

Recall that some Christian denominations under the umbrella of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, had kicked against the position of the state government’s legalisation of the use of hijab in schools in the state.

They also demanded the return of Christian mission schools to their owners and called out their members for a protest to drive home their demands on Monday.

Aside from the CAN leadership in the state, the Baptist Conference and ECWA church of Ilorin District had addressed newsmen on different occasions to reject the government’s position on the legalisation of hijab in schools.

However, Muslim stakeholders in the state have urged the state government to stand by the rule of law in taking a final decision on the hijab issue.

A statement by the Chairman, Alhaji Is-haq Abdulkarim and Secretary, Professor Ibrahim Abikan, said the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, which engaged the state government in a legal battle on the ownership of the grant-aided schools since 2013, lost its two cases both at the Ilorin high court in 2016 and court of appeal in 2019.

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