The Lagos State government has denied banning use of hijab in public schools, as the issue is still being looked into with a view to taking a broad-based stand on it.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba, said the government was still making wide consultations on the issue and will only come up with a position after exhausting all the avenues that will allow for a peaceful resolution of the matter.In a reaction to a report by Punch newspaper which credited the Commissioner for Education, Olayinka Oladunjoye, with writing off the possibility of allowing hijab in public schools, the state government rejected the report as incorrect, sensational and out of context.
To avoid a needless heightening of tension, the Commissioner advised the people of the state, particularly Muslim faithful, not to allow people with diabolic intentions to trivialise the issue of sustaining the peaceful co-existence of the diverse groups in the state.
He also urged media practitioners to avoid sensationalism and inflammatory statement in their reportage of government activities so as not to create unnecessary confusion and misrepresentation of government position.
According to him, what Mrs Olayinka explained at the briefing was that the government had held meetings with some key stakeholders and would still consult widely before taking a position, saying “it will therefore be premature and pre-emptive to say that government has rejected the use of hijab in public schools in Lagos”.
The Commissioner added that it was strange that the explanation of a public officer about on-going effort to resolve an issue could be misconstrued to mean that government had taken a negative position on such an issue.
He thanked Lagos residents for tolerating one another by living peacefully without playing up divisive interests and advised them to continue to be their brothers’ keepers.