BAN ON THE USE OF HIJAB IN LAGOS STATE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT DODGING THE INEVITABLE
(Being text of the Press Statement issued by the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisation –NACOMYO- Lagos State Chapter)
2nd August 2018.
Greetings to all Lagosians!
The attention of the leadership of the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) Lagos State Chapter has been drawn to the recent comment attributed to the Lagos State Commissioner For Home Affairs; Hon. Dr. Abd’Lateef Abd’Hakeem, while answering questions on a television programme that the Lagos State Government will not obey the July 2016 Court of Appeal judgment allowing the use of hijab by Muslim pupils in public schools until the outcome of the Supreme Court decision on the State Government’s appeal, and that the State Government has consequently banned the use of hijab in all its public schools.
Much as we may not be ready to enter into polemics with the Honourable Commissioner on the impropriety of this provocative and inciting comment in other not to further heat the already over-heated polity. But it needs be stated that this comment is uncharitable to the Muslim Ummah and a calculated attempt to test our collective resolve to sue for peace in the face of assaults on our constitutional freedom of worship. Especially, coming on the heels of our earlier call on the Muslims to exercise extreme caution while we await the verdict from the Supreme court (NACOMYO Press Conference of 1st of October, 2016 referred to).
It is apposite to state that the information being peddled by the apologists of this Government among the Ummah, before this insensitive comment, is that the State Government had sent circular to all the 6 Educational Districts to liberalise the use of hijab in its public schools by not punishing any pupil who might want to use it. But this comment has confirmed the worst fear of Muslims on the policies and actions of this Government as they affect Muslims in the State.
We like to point out that the supremacy of the rule of law is the hallmark of the democracy currently in practise in the Country. This includes obedience to judgments of court of law by all, irrespective of one’s status in the society. However, we are not unmindful of the judicial practice that obedience to a judgment of court can be delayed ONLY if there is a valid appeal backed by a stay of execution of the judgment being appealed against.
The Honourable Commissioner has rightly informed Lagosians that his Government has appealed the Court of Appeal judgment. But with the greatest respect, our highly revered brother and Honourable Commissioner has failed, refused, and neglected to tell Lagosians whether the Lagos State Government has gotten a stay of execution of the judgment of the Court of Appeal in other to justify this executive lawlessness of the Lagos State Government.
Be that as it may, NACOMYO Lagos State Chapter once again reiterate its earlier call on all Muslims to remain calm in the light of this recent provocation and assault on our constitutional freedom of worship, just as we have remained since the inglorious judgment of the Lagos State High Court on the matter in 2014.
We like to assure all Muslims that this recent position of the State Government is a boisterous attempt to dodge the inevitable and start wailing ahead of the impending crushing defeat the State Government will, insha Allah, suffer at the apex court. This will further put gloss on the shine of our victory by putting a permanent guarantee on our constitutional right to freedom of worship, and give the hijab issue a Nationalistic “flavour”.
God bless Nigeria!
God bless Lagos State, the Centre of Excellence!
God bless the Muslim Ummah!
Dr. Abd’Wasi’ Babatunde Moshood,
NACOMYO Lagos State Chapter.