Ripples over Supreme Court ruling – The Sun Nigeria


By Gabriel Dike, Lukman Olabiyi (Lagos), Lateef Dada (Osogbo) and Layi Olarenwaju (Ilorin)

The Supreme Courtroom judgment on Friday, which authorized using hijab by pupils in Lagos State colleges, will surely change the educational atmosphere in many faculties throughout the nation.

The judgment has additionally despatched jitters down the spines of personal and Christian faculty homeowners nationwide in regards to the implications of the ruling.

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A serious situation in regards to the Supreme Courtroom judgment, which is bothering colleges in different states is whether or not the ruling is relevant nationwide.

As training stakeholders come to phrases with the apex court docket’s ruling, church buildings and conventional worshippers could resolve to encourage their wards to put on robes and conventional apparel to high school, prefer it occurred in Osun State.

Some legal professionals and stakeholders have argued that, for the reason that apex court docket within the land made the ruling, it may very well be utilized nationwide.

The Schooling Report sought the reactions of the Nationwide Mother or father Instructor Affiliation of Nigeria (NAPTAN), Affiliation for Formidable Schooling Growth (AFED), Nationwide Affiliation of Proprietors of Non-public Colleges (NAPPS), legal professionals and different stakeholders on the hijab judgment.

The massive query now could be: can Christian and conventional worshippers put on robes and conventional apparel to varsities?

Definitely, some church buildings may encourage Christian college students to put on robes, whereas conventional worshippers are anticipated to adorn their very own apparel to the school rooms.

Many stakeholders are afraid that what performed out in Osun State, the place Christian college students and conventional worshippers went to their colleges in several church robes, ropes and conventional apparel, would occur in many faculties.

In Kwara State, it was a type of battle in some colleges in Ilorin when the state authorities gave the nod for Muslim college students to put on hijab to Christian colleges.

The 2 teams battled one another for days, resulting in the disruption of the tutorial calendar and destruction of faculty property, till the state authorities rescinded the choice.

Additionally, the administration of Worldwide Faculty, Ibadan, College of Ibadan, despatched some Muslim college students who wore the hijab residence. Dad and mom of the affected college students stormed the college and disrupted tutorial actions for days. The college needed to be closed.

Attorneys’ place

A authorized practitioner and human rights activist, Kabir Akingbolu, stated, “the judgment binds all authorities in Nigeria. It isn’t allowed for any faculty to disallow college students from sporting hijab. I imagine it shouldn’t be a factor to be anxious about however, in all honesty, there isn’t any have to implement it in Christian colleges to keep away from pointless rancour and breakdown of regulation and order.

“The choice of the Supreme Courtroom is a welcome improvement. Lagos State’s intervention within the hijab situation is an unwarranted agitation and exhibits undue state discrimination towards girls of the Islamic religion. The implication is that the state could even sooner or later ban Muslim civil servants from sporting hijab, which will probably be extremely discriminatory.”

In his response, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Kunle Adegoke, argued, “It’s clear that the supply of Part 42 of the Structure permits freedom of faith. It’s a part of this freedom to decorate in accordance with the dictates of 1’s faith, topic to obligatory moderation. Whereas European nations to which Islam isn’t deep-rooted are allowing girls to put on hijab, it’s shocking {that a} state in Nigeria is forbidding sporting of hijab.

“We should, subsequently, commend the Supreme Courtroom on this landmark choice, which ensures extra non secular freedom. Fairly than losing taxpayer’s cash to pursue such an attraction to the Supreme Courtroom, Lagos State authorities ought to have targeting how one can make good governance a dividend of democracy and make life extra ample for the folks.

“The choice of the Supreme Courtroom is relevant to different states. Any authorities that bans hijab in any facet of public life is performing opposite to the precept of regulation as laid down by the Supreme Courtroom. That means that such state authorities has no regard for rule of regulation and has no enterprise claiming consultant democracy.”

Lagos Ministry of Schooling

The Lagos State Ministry of Schooling stated it couldn’t touch upon the Supreme Courtroom judgment.

Public relations officer of the ministry, Mr. Gani Lawal, stated, “The ministry of training is awaiting authorized recommendation from the Ministry of Justice.”

Stakeholders react to judgment

Schooling stakeholders expressed combined reactions in regards to the judgment. Whereas the Nationwide Affiliation of Proprietors of Non-public Colleges stated the events concerned within the litigation ought to respect the choice, the deputy nationwide president, Nationwide Mother or father-Instructor Affiliation of Nigeria (NAPTAN), Chief Adeolu Ogunbanjo, famous that the apex court docket’s ruling additionally impacts non-public colleges within the state.

His phrases: “The judgment applies to private and non-private colleges. Faculty homeowners can’t ship any pupil out for sporting hijab. It’s unlucky however I name for rules whether or not college students would placed on quarter, half or full Hijab.

“I hope we’re not seeing a repeat of the Osun State situation. It additionally means Christian college students can put on robe and conventional worshippers can placed on their conventional apparel to high school.”

President of AFED, Mr. Orji Emmanuel, stated the Federal Authorities was dabbling into what it was not imagined to do. Faculty uniforms, he confused, had been the suitable put on for college kids.

He warned: “If any pupil needs to put on hijab, let her or him go to Muslim colleges. We should be taught to maintain faith out of our colleges. At school, uniform is the prescribed mode of dressing.”

Nevertheless, the president of NAPPS, Chief Yomi Otubela, stated, “Supreme Courtroom is the best court docket in Nigeria and so we really feel that its choice ought to be revered by the events concerned within the litigation.

“As well as, since Nigeria is a secular state, NAPPS believes in non secular tolerance and feels people ought to have the ability to admire religious values, beliefs and practices which might be totally different from their very own.

“Religion-based colleges ought to have the ability to run their colleges in accordance with their non secular beliefs.”

Reacting to the ruling, the Muslim College students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) described the judgment of the Supreme Courtroom validating using hijab as a part of the constitutional rights of feminine Muslim college students as a victory for the rule of regulation and victory for the oppressed towards the oppressors.

The Ameer, ‘B’ zone of the MSSN, Bar Qaazim Odedeji, who was a part of the authorized workforce, stated, “I need to use this chance to name on public officers, faculty directors and employers of labour to respect the rights of Muslim girls and defend similar towards any for discrimination.”

On his half, the Osun State director of media, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Seun Adeoye, stated the Christian neighborhood would abide by the choice of the apex court docket on using hijab in public colleges, saying, “If it’s the proper of our Muslim women to put on hijab in public colleges, Christian women who additionally want robes indicating their faith ought to be permitted this proper.”

In Ilorin, the chairman of the Muslim Stakeholders, Alhaji Is-haq Abdulkarim, stated the ruling affirmed the place of the Muslims that hijab was a basic human proper. 

He warned that if harassment, bullying and persecution of Muslim college students in colleges or different colleges anyplace within the state continued, the Muslims wouldn’t have any different than to safe their rights in the very best method they perceive as the faculties are public colleges as pronounced by two superior courts of document.

 Abdulkarim, a chartered accountant, stated the Supreme Courtroom judgment impact all states within the nation; Kwara State Authorities should subsequently implement freedom of worship together with re-erecting demolished Mosque in Bishop Smith Memorial School Ilorin by some hoodlums parading themselves as brokers of some folks.

He concluded by calling on Kwara State Christian Affiliation of Nigeria (CAN) to cease selling non secular crises within the state by means of the general public colleges, including “the state is a ‘state of concord’ which believes within the rule of regulation, including the 2 judgments delivered by two superior courts of document on possession of faculties which had been in favour of Kwara State Authorities had been declaratory judgments that should not have its implementation delayed no matter.”

The Christian Affiliation of Nigerian (CAN) PRO, Rev. Shina Ibiyemi whereas reacting stated: “The Supreme Courtroom judgment delivered to permit Muslim women put on hijab in Lagos state colleges. As lawyer, at first I’ve not laid my fingers on the complete judgment of the apex court docket. However from what I learn on the social media, nevertheless that case began with a kind of basic human rights and the state authorities challenged it and that exact case, it was the Lagos authorities that went on attraction to the apex court docket.

However in our case in Kwara State, it’s a totally different matter altogether.”

“The difficulty of hijab was imported by some components. Hijab situation was not taken to court docket. What was taken to court docket was the problem of administration by the church of the faculties they established and authorities grant aided and never hijab. Hijab was smuggled into it to make it look by some means.

“I as an Particular person do not need any situation with hijab. I’ve many associates who use hijab and we’re nonetheless associates. I even have staffers that use hijab and no downside about it.

“It’s a matter of understanding and tolerance, which has been occurring for a very long time. It isn’t the problem of hijab however the imply situation Christians in Kwara State have is try by some components to take over the heritage of our forefathers and alter it for their very own use.

“Opposite to the hypothesis or mistaken place some folks most likely have been saying that the land we constructed the faculties and church’s was given to us freely was mistaken. The land was paid for and the Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) was obtained. So it’s completely totally different from what the Lagos state authorities appealed to Supreme Courtroom and was dismissed.”

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