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Christians, Muslims in violent clash over hijab controversy in Kwara as school re-opens

Yesterday, Christians and Muslims clashed violently in Ilorin, Kwara State over the raging Hijab controversy as the state government reopened 10 affected schools for academic activities.

This came as the Christian Association of Nigeria – CAN, asked Nigerians to hold Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq responsible for the violence and bloodletting in the state over his administration’s Hijab policy.

The Baptist Secondary School,  Surulere,  was  the major battle ground where opposing parties besides exchange of harsh words, freely threw pebbles at each other, even as security operatives struggled to disperse the combatants including parents.

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Some Muslims groups who had laid siege to the main gates of the school were chorusing “Laillah Illaha Lahu, Laillaha Illah lahu”. All efforts by the Muslims groups to allow Muslim students to enter the schools, were turned down by the Christians who were also at the main gate of the affected schools.

As the situation got worse, security operatives deployed to the schools to maintain peace shut into the air and used tear gas to disperse them.

The waiting students and teachers scampered for safety while the schools gates remained shut.

At the Cherubim and Seraphim Grammar School, Sabo Oke, some people in white garments occupied the gate, drummed, sang and disallowed students and teachers from resuming.

They displayed placards with inscriptions such as  “O to ge” give us our schools back”,  “No to Hijab in Kwara”,” Kwara is  not an Islamic State, Kwara is for all”, “Our schools is our heritage”, “we oppose the Hijab in our schools”.

Others at Bishop Smith Grammar School along Agba dam GRA, Ilorin and St Anthony Grammar School, along Offa Road,  where the school  principal and security officer  who supposed to open the gates were nowhere to be found.

The teachers were seen in groups at the school gate while some Christian leaders were also there to monitor the development.

Meanwhile, security agencies including the police, civil defence corps and Soldiers have been deployed to all the affected schools to prevent the break-down of law and order.

The state government had on Tuesday, announced that the schools had been told to reopen but must respect its policy that allows the use of the Hijab in all public schools.

The statement in parts, reads “The Kwara State Government hereby announces the reopening on Wednesday March 17, 2021 of the 10 schools that were recently shut down over the Hijab question, even as government’s peacebuilding efforts continue.

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