The Christian Association of Nigeria has called on the Nigerian government and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to hold the Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for the violence in the state.
The body stated this in a statement issued by its General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, on Wednesday.
It also asked the Nigerian government to intervene in the ongoing violence over the hijab policy that has led to violence and bloodletting in the state.
The statement partly read, “We learnt that the state government has ordered the reopening of the closed schools without resolving the crisis and consequently, churches and mission schools are being vandalised with impunity by the hoodlums banking on the state government’s support in the pretext of enforcing the policy. Some innocent Christians are being violently abused and attacked under the watch of the governor who is playing ostrich.
“The Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, should be held responsible if the matter degenerates because it was his pronouncement on the issue of hijab-wearing in violation of the court directive on the matter to maintain status quo until the matter is finally resolved by the court that led to this trouble.
“Wisdom is required by those in leadership to handle sensitive issues such as that of religion so as not to precipitate war. If any damage is done to any church or anyone is injured on this matter, the Governor of Kwara State will be held responsible.
“It is disheartening and unfortunate that a government that was installed democratically will become insensitive to the plight and yearning of the people as if the governor was voted into the office primarily to protect his religion. This is unfair, ungodly and reprehensible.
“There are public schools and schools that belong to some Islamic organisations where those who wanted to be wearing hijab can be attending without causing the ongoing needless crises rocking the state.
“CAN once again calls on Governor AbdulRazaq to give peace a chance in the state by ordering his hoodlums to stop attacking mission schools and churches in Kwara State before the situation degenerates into an unprecedented religious crisis. We also call on the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police to ask the Kwara State government to respect the rule of law to avoid a chaotic situation.”
Earlier on Wednesday, at least three people sustained varying degrees of injury during a clash between Muslims and Christians in Ilorin, the state capital after the state government reopened 10 schools shut last month over the use of hijab by Muslim female students.
The government had in February ordered the temporary closure of the schools pending the resolution of the controversy in the schools.
The crisis started after some Muslims pushed for female students to be allowed to wear hijab in the affected schools, which were established by missionaries.
The schools are C&S College, ST. Anthony College, ECWA School, Surulere Baptist Secondary School, Bishop Smith Secondary School, CAC Secondary School, St. Barnabas Secondary School, St. John School, St. Williams Secondary School and St. James Secondary School.
Though funded by the state government as all mission schools were forcibly taken over by the Nigerian government in the 70s, the affected schools were established by Christian missionaries.
SaharaReporters, New York