Hijab Crisis: 151 Kwara Students May Miss WASSCE, Principal Tells Panel

The Principal of Ijagbo Baptist High School in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Mr Francis Lambe, has expressed concern over the fate of 151 Senior Secondary three students of the school following the continued closure by the state government.

Lambe noted that the final-year students might miss the June 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examination over the lingering crisis.

He said this while testifying before a seven-member committee set up by the Kwara State Government to investigate the circumstances that led to the recent violence in Oyun Baptist High School Ijagbo on Monday in Ilorin.

The state government had shut down the school on February 3, 2022, as a result of a crisis over the wearing of hijab by Muslim female students in the school.

Lambe told the government to quickly resolve the crisis so that the final-year students who preparing for their WASSCE in June can return to the school for their lessons.

“What I will recommend to the government is to invite the CAN and the concerned Muslim stakeholders and let them understand that policy is policy and pacify the two sides. Now, our school is closed. We have our SS3 students about 151 students ready to write WAEC,” the principal told the panel.

Lambe while responding to a question agreed that the school is owned by the state government and all the stakeholders ought to accept the government’s policies in all public schools.

Speaking at the inaugural sitting, the chairman of the panel, Dr Shehu Omoniyi, explained that the panel was set up to assess what happened, how it happened, and make specific recommendations to the government to prevent a recurrence.

“This panel is not meant to witch-hunt anybody. We are to assess critically what happened, how it happened those that were involved and make specific recommendations,” the panel chairman said.

“I urge people to calm down and cooperate with us. If you are invited, speak the truth and nothing but the truth. There’s no need to mislead the panel. Because we want to work with the fear of God and I hope at the end of the day all sides will be happy with our recommendations.”

Omoniyi called for religious tolerance and understanding for peaceful co-existence.

The co-chairman of the panel, Mr Emmanuel Fatolam, is also the Secretary-General of Ijagbo Descendants Progressive Union.

Other members of the Committee include Pastor Modupe Agboola; Kwara State Chairperson of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Dr Saudat Baki; Special Assistant to the Governor on Religion (Islam), Alhaji Ibrahim Danmaigoro; Special Assistant to the Governor on Religion (Christianity), Reverend Timothy Akangbe; and a director in the Ministry of Justice, Mr Ishola Olofere, who served as the Secretary of the Committee.

-PunchNG

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