The Denial of the Rights of “Freedom of Religion” in Christain Named Govt School in Osun ByIsmael Taiwo
It is ludicrous and sardonic that some disgruntled elements under the disguise of religious bigotry are calling for disunity and intolerance in this nation.
Reading through the headline of today’s dailies tagged: School principal and teachers sent a child home for using an Hijab and the show of grievances by aggrieved youth make me to be pondering on where we are heading to in this nation as a result of our inability to see
any good in our diversity as humanbeings living together under one
It is very wrong for anybody to singlehandedly send any child out of school as a result of unconstitutional claim that such child uses Hijab, I see this act as a breach of Nigerian constitution “Freedom of Religion” (1999 as amended).
If care is not taken, we are heading to a place where ANARCHY will be looming as a result of our inability to tolerate each other. Sometime ago, a protest was led by a group under the aegis of Osun Baptist Conference when the State government introduced the policy of mixing Muslims and Christians together in public schools so as to pave way for unity in our diversity as humanbeings living together under the nomenclature called NIGERIA.
Later on, the government called all the religious bodies into a meeting and explained the reason for its policy and that they should embrace the policy by giving peace chance to reign. This made the Baptist Conference and the State Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) to apologize publicly that they were mis-informed by media propaganda. Since then things have been moving freely in the State without hindrance but the recent denial of constitutional right of “freedom of religion” as a result of sending children homes for using Hijabs heated up the polity.
The religious sentiment is affecting the mentality of Nigerians as we always lure any government policy with our beliefs as Muslims or Christians and this religious bigot is part of barriers disrupting the progress of this nation.
Despite the fact that the schools were founded by missionaries; since the schools had been taken over by the government for a long period of time ago and the schools are being funded by the government it is abnormal and illogical to singlehandedly send children out of the school by the Principal and teachers who are being paid salaries and wages by the State government just because the children used Hijabs.
In as much as the schools are being funded by government, it is very unreasonable to have a contrary view on the policy based on religious sentiment.
If the unconstitutional excuse made by the Principal and teachers of the said school replicates itself in some Muslims named public schools there will always be a cause for alarm everyday and this may be a total call for ANARCHY.
What should perturb sensible mind is how the policy can be of immense contribution to the development of the State. According to the Nigerian constitution; it is ridiculous, pathetic and a total disregard of the fundamental human right of the 1999 constitution (as amended) for any Christian group to deny a Muslim child the constitutional right of “freedom of religion” to attend a Christian named public school simply because such child uses Hijab. On the other hand, it is a total breach of law for a Muslim group also to deny a Christian child an opportunity to attend a Muslim named Government school just because such child refuses to wear Hijab.
I went to Muslim named school – Ansar-Ud-Deen High School and there was nothing like sending students to their homes just because of unconstitutional excuse that they didn’t wear Hijab and this is supposed to be in all government schools whether named by Muslims or
We need to call a spade a spade; the unconstitutional act embarked by the said government school’s Principal and teachers should be properly looked into in order to prevent total ANARCHY in the State.
By: Ismael Taiwo A.
PRO, NANS-Joint Campus Committee, Oyo State.
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