The principal of Baptist High School, Ejigbo, Osun State got more than he bargained for yesterday when some parents stormed the school and beat him to a pulp.
The incident, which occurred around 8.00 a.m, heightened tension in the town as many were apprehensive that the crisis might snowball into a clash between Christians and Muslims in the town.
According to sources, trouble started when the state government under its new education policy started schools’ merger which made students from Muslim schools where hijab is used to join schools with origin in Christianity.
With protests against use of hijab in ‘Christian schools’ threatening the smooth running of schools, especially Baptist High School, Ejigbo, Local Inspectors of Education in the area waded into the brewing crisis and advised students who cannot do without putting on hijab to join secular or Muslim schools where nobody cared about its use or not. Since they were not students of Baptist High school in the first place, LIEs thought they had found an easy solution to the crisis, not knowing they had just ignited a fire.
Parents of Muslim students that wanted their wards to continue using hijab insisted their children must remain in the school and use hijab, a stance the principal was said to have queried, as he wondered if they wanted peace in his school or not.
Although, some say the attackers of the principal are not parents but just some aggrieved Muslim youths in the town, others insist most of them were parents of the affected students.
A female student was said to have been sent home last week for allegedly using veil (hijab) while in the school, a development which infuriated some Muslims.
The parents were said to have stormed the school yesterday in guise of having a dialogue with the principal only to pounce on him, giving him the beating of his life.
The principal identified as Mr Layi Oguntola had to be rushed in an ambulance to a hospital in Osogbo, the Osun State capital to save his life.
Similar incidents had recently occurred at the Baptists Girls’ High School, Osogbo, and Baptist High School, Iwo.