Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State yesterday faulted the accusation that he prompted female Muslim students in public schools in the state to wear hijab over their uniforms during the school hours.
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Osun State chapter, recently accused the governor of surreptitiously backing the hijab policy in the state, following a State High Court judgment, which affirmed the right of female Muslim students to wear the religious garment.
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Mr. Aregbesola challenged those who accused him of ordering the use of Hijab by Muslims to bring concrete evidence to substantiate their claims.
He also challenged those accusing him of plunging the state into religious crisis to present a video or voice recording, written speech evidencing where he commanded or ordered female Muslim students to wear hijab on their uniforms.
Mr. Aregbesola stated this at the roundtable on Development Collaborative Framework for Education Development and Advancement organised by the Development and Advancement in Western Nigeria (DAWN) in Osogbo, the state capital.
“If I permitted Hijab, would the Muslims have gone to court to challenge it? Is that not contradictory? the governor asked.
“Is it a crime that I am a Muslim, is it because I struggle to be a good Muslim that everything I do is being misunderstood? I think I don’t deserve all these lies against me”.
The governor pointed out that the programmes he introduced into the state’s education system were part of the resolutions that came out of the education summit organised by his administration and chaired by Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, shortly after coming into office.The programmes, he stressed, have no religious undertones.
“There is nothing religious in any of our policies,” Mr. Aregbesola said. “The fact on ground contradicts our opposition’s claim.
“The choice of my deputy governor tells it all, I knew she is a pentecotalist of the highest order before I picked her.
“Everything we have done in the line of education is in line with the resolution of our education summit.
“Against all speculations, I have not ordered the use of Hijab, I challenge anybody with evidence to come out and show that I have made a proclamation on Hijab”.