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Osun Hijab Crisis, Coalition Urges Aggrieved Group To Appeal Court's Verdict


With the recent pronouncement of an Osun State High Court, which permitted female Muslim students in the state to wear Hijab as part of the school uniform, a of civil society group, Coalition of Civil Society for Equity and Justice (CCSEJ), has urged the religion bodies that feel aggrieved with the judgement to approach Appeal Court instead of taking law into their hands and causing anarchy in the state.

The advice was given on Tuesday, during a press briefing by the coalition consisting three groups; Centre for Global Peace Initiatives (CGIP); Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA); and Olumuyiwa Wahab Foundation, led by Comrade Ayinde Olaide, Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak and Comrade Tunde Ibrahim respectively.

The coalition at the briefing stated that the court's pronouncement on the rights of Muslims to hijab must be respected and enforced by the government of the state. While adding that those who feel Aggrieved on the matter have every constitutional right to challenge the court's ruling at a higher court without subverting the tenets of democracy and the rule of law, which could throw the society into a state of anarchy.

The coalition's statement read in parts: "the latest crisis occasioned by reaction to a recent court ruling granted by Justice Oyedeji Falola of the Osun State High Court on June 3, 2016, which held that wearing hijab is part of the fundamental rights of the Muslim female pupils, and that any act of molestation, harassment, torture or humiliation against Muslim female students using hijab constitutes a clear infringement on their fundamental human rights as contained in Section 38 of 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

" We strongly view this pronouncement of the court on the rights of Muslims to hijab must be respected and enforced by the state government.

"Those who feel aggrieved on the matter have every constitutional rights to challenge the court ruling at a higher court without subverting the tenets of democracy and rule of law, thereby throwing the society into a state of anarchy.

"We must accept the social reality of the Nigerian state as a multi-religious, multi-culture and multi-ethinic society, with rule of laws as the cardinal pillar through which you quality, liberty and fraternity could be guaranteed".

The coalition however, commended the maturity displayed by the Osun State government by insisting that democracy and rule of law must not be sacrificed on the alter of blackmail and intimidation. While stated that it is a sheer propaganda to label Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Governor of the state as harbinger of of the engineered confusion that is now raging in the state.

The coalition further stated that if truly the citizens of the country wishes to build a future where peaceful co-existence reigns supreme, they should refrained from seeing the existence of the value of other groups as inimical to each others' way of life. Adding that giving the deserved respect to judiciary shows responsible attitude.

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