The Islamic Welfare Foundation (IWF) gladly welcomes the re-opening of the Oyun Baptist High School (OBHS), Ijagbo after its closure by the Kwara State Government (KWSG) for four months. We were bothered that OBHS had to be closed over the needless and intolerant crisis on wearing of hijab by willing female students in a public school.

Equally, IWF frowns at the alien discrimination against hijab-wearing female students where these students were denied access to OBHS for three weeks against their avowed Constitutional rights. IWF maintains that the people of this State of Harmony are known to be accommodating, inclusive and tolerant in their dealings with each other. On this note, the Foundation appreciates the pronouncement of KWSG last week, where it reiterated that hijab is allowed in public schools for willing female students who wants to wear it.

However, IWF is disturbed that four months after the avoidable incident that led to the death of Habeeb Idris and where other peaceful Muslim protesters got injured, the victims and their families are yet to experience any form of appropriate and acceptable justice, commiseration or compensation. A popular American justice aphorism states: “justice must not only be served, but it must also be seen to be served.” It is also worrisome that the KWSG is yet to release to the public the report of its fact-finding panel of enquiry or the details of its white paper.

IWF reminds the KWSG that justice is the soul of peace, reprimanding those who caused the crisis would not only placate the victims to an extent, but it would also dissuade other discriminatory acts and make retaliation irrational. The Foundation finally urges the KWSG to go beyond barking on its pronouncement on allowing hijab-wearing in public schools with biting by ensuring swift and appropriate punishments to those who defy this directive.

A stich in time saves nine, thus, a prompt action by KWSG will go a long way in ensuring not only justice but enhance peaceful co-existence in the state.


Dr. Hassan KalejaiyeNational Coordinator