The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos State Area Unit has commended Nigerians for throwing their weight behind the use of hijab in public schools. The commendation came following an overwhelming 65 per cent ‘Yes’ vote in an on-going online opinion poll being conducted by The Punch Newspaper which seeks to know Nigerians’ view concerning whether pupils should be allowed to wear hijab to public schools.
As at 12.45pm on Friday March 8, 2013, six hundred and seventy-three (673) out of one thousand and forty-two (1042) total respondents said ‘YES’ to the question ‘Should pupils be allowed to wear Hijab to public schools,’ while 355 representing 35 per cent responded ‘No’. The remaining 14 representing 1 per cent of the total respondents were undecided.
The survey opened on Thursday February 28, 2013, a day members of the MSSN Lagos State Area Unit from secondary schools and higher institutions across the state stormed the Governor’s Office in Alausa in protest against the victimisation of Muslim girls wearing hijab in Lagos public schools.
A statement signed by the group’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Sulaimon Alamutu, said the result of the poll, though unscientific, was a reflection of Nigerians’ believe in, and respect for the fundamental human rights of Muslims to practice and manifest their religion without interference from any quarters.
It said the Lagos State government should take a cue from the opinions of Nigerians and take necessary steps towards addressing the persecution of Muslim girls currently being molested because of hijab by school principals across the state. ‘We have said it severally that the issue of hijab is a fundamental right issue which no law or administrative procedure could override. So, the result of the Punch’s survey showed that Nigerians are rational human beings who will not allow myopic reasoning overshadow their sense of justice,’ it said.
The statement also warned the state commissioner of education, Mrs Adeyinka Oladunjoye, against further exacerbating the crisis on hijab by insisting that Muslim girls would not be allowed to wear it either during school hour or outside the school hour. ‘From our findings, we learnt Mrs Oladunjoye is insisting on an illegal personal stance that no student will be allowed to wear hijab in Lagos schools. This is against the agreement reached with us before our protest at the governor’s office was suspended.
‘Let us state unequivocally that we will not relent on this issue until justice is done, and until the victimisation of our members stopped,’ it added.
Public Relations Officer (PRO)
Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit