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Hijab: Heavy security as Osun CAN files appeal, stay of execution

Osun State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has filed a stay of execution on the June 3 judgement of an Osogbo High Court allowing Muslim students in all state public schools to wear hijab.

This was disclosed in Osogbo on Wednesday by the state CAN Chairman, Rev. Elisha Ogundiya during a solidarity visit to the state CAN headquarters by South-West leaders of the association.

It was learnt that ‎there were heavy security presence of the police and other security agencies around the premises of the meeting, which preceded the visit.

CAN representatives from Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo states, who were also present, also expressed their support for the state Christians on the issue of controversial hijab judgement.

They accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State of attempting to Islamise the state.

In his address, the association’s Zonal Chairman, Archbishop Magnus Atilade, warned that any attempt by Muslim students to wear hijab to schools after the appeal has been filed would mean that CAN too would ensure that all forms of garments are worn to schools in the state.

Atilade, who was represented by the Secretary of South-West CAN, Rev. Alfred Aro,‎ noted that Falola’s judgment negated the spirit of secularism of the nation “and it violates the religious rights of the original owner of the missionary schools as agreed upon when the schools were taken over by the then government of Oyo State in 1975”.

The Zonal CAN members in a communique from a meeting held after the visit, also expressed concern on the ban of morning devotions and assemblies in schools in some states in the country, saying the action must be rescinded.

The communique read in part, “We note with dismay despite several appeals as a law abiding association, the ban on morning devotions and assemblies in some schools in Nigeria especially South-West Nigeria based on flimsy reason on insecurity.

“Now that President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed the end to insurgency, we urge all states to unban the unfair decision within the next one month. CAN urges all its members to write to their state governors immediately. Failure to rescind the ban, we implore CAN in the states concerned to take appropriate actions.”

They also condemned the ban of Religions Knowledge and History in schools, saying it was a ploy by government to use it as an attack on other religions.

“Such approach does not allow for moral training, upbringing and character moulding in our children who are leaders of tomorrow,” the communique added.

Apart from Zonal members, CAN leaders from across the state’s 30 local governments and Ife-East Area Office, Modakeke attended the meeting.

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