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Stop bill on hijab, CAN tells National Assembly

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on the leadership of the National Assembly to suspend a bill before the House of Representatives seeking to institutionalise the use of hijab in the country.

CAN, in a statement by its General Secretary Joseph Bade Daramola, warned that “the bill is ill-timed”.

The Christian organisation also warned that legalising hijab in Nigeria would cause “trouble”.

Instead of focusing on legislating wearing of the hijab, CAN asked the lawmakers to address challenges of insecurity, unemployment, and lopsided appointment in the country.

According to CAN, the bill titled “Religious Discrimination (Prohibition, Prevention) Bill, 2021” is seeking to provide a mechanism for enforcing certain provisions of the Constitution and other international laws that recognizes the right of a female to adorn hijab in both public and private establishments in Nigeria. 

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Part of the statement read, “We wonder what the sponsors of the Bill seeks to gain from it other than to compound the security problem and the wearing of hijab in public and Christian schools. To what extent does this controversial bill seek to promote peace, order and good governance?

“Has dress code become part of the Exclusive Legislative List? While the citizens are expecting the National Assembly to make laws that will address the lopsided appointments, insecurity, unemployment, and economic predicament, our lawmakers are interested in making laws that seek to promote one religion. This is totally unacceptable in a country with multiple religions.

“Candidly speaking, it is not the wearing of hijab that is our problem, it is the legislation of the wearing of it in private schools, especially of the schools whose proprietors have different culture to that of wearing of the hijab. Legislating the wearing of hijab in private schools would lead to the trouble that those who started it may not be able to handle.”

The Christian association also asked the government to return missionary schools to their owners and stop funding them.

It added, “CAN has been consistently calling on some state governments that are enforcing the wearing of hijab in the public schools to exempt the Christian schools where hijab culture is alien. We are not against the wearing of hijab in public and Islamic schools but our schools should not be included unless those states are looking for trouble.

“Alternatively, let those state governments return our schools and stop funding them. We are able to manage them. We did not beg the government ab initio to partner with us. It was the government that couldn’t provide enough schools that came in subtly to partner with us but now going another mile to take over completely. Can the government own what they did not spend their money to build?

“We call on all Christians in every legislative house, including the National Assembly, to arise and speak for the Church if they have not compromised their faith for political reasons.” 

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Breaking News

[BREAKING] Arms fund probe: Finally, Army chief appears before Reps

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, is currently appearing before the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the Need to Review the Purchase, Use and Control of Arms, Ammunition and Related Hardware by Military, Paramilitary and Other Law Enforcement Agencies.

The committee had no less than two times invited Attahiru and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to answer questions on the procurement of arms and ammunition.
On Friday, the committee, after a long wait, postponed the investigative hearing till Monday.

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Earlier on March 22, 2021, the committee had, after the failure by the CBN governor and the COAS to appear before it, summoned them to appear before on April 7, 2021.

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Leadership

Ramadan: Look out for moon Monday, Sultan tells Muslims

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The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has directed the Muslim Ummah to look out for the crescent (moon) of Ramadan 1442AH from Monday.

Abubakar gave the directive on Sunday in a statement issued by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Sokoto.

“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Monday, April 12, which is equivalent to the 29th day of Sha’aban 1442AH shall be the day to look for the new moon of Ramadan 1442AH.

“Muslim are, therefore, requested to start looking for the crescent moon on Monday and report its sighting to the nearest District or Village Head for onward communication to the Sultan,’’ the statement read.

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The Sultan prayed Allah to assist Muslims in the discharge of their religious duty.

Junaidu gave telephone numbers that could be used directly to report the sighting of the new moon to the committee.

The numbers are 08037157100, 07067416900, 08066303077, 08036149757, 08035965322 and 08035945903.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims worldwide as a month for fasting, prayer, reflection and assisting the needy.

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Prince Philip’s funeral to take place April 17, says Buckingham Palace

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The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, will take place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on April 17, Buckingham Palace announced Saturday.

The ceremony at Windsor, west of London, which will be televised but have no public element because of coronavirus restrictions, will be preceded by a national minute’s silence.

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Royal officials said the 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh’s grandson, Prince Harry, would attend, but his heavily pregnant wife, Meghan, had been advised against travelling from the United States on medical grounds.

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