Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo
Representataives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) from Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo states, Wednesday, stormed Osun state to express their support for Christians in the state on raging controversy over the wearing of hijab is female Muslim students in public schools in the state.
The controversy followed a judgment delivered by Justice Saka Oyejide Falola which allowed female Muslim students to wear the hijab in school.
Meanwhile, CAN in Osun, Wednesday, filed a stay of execution on the June 3 judgment.
Speaking at Osun CAN headquarters, the Secretary of South-West CAN who spoke on behalf of the association’s Zonal Chairman, Archbishop Magnus Atilade, Rev. Alfred Aro said they were also in the state to fight against any form of Islamisation agenda by Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
Aro warned that any attempt by Muslim female students to wear Hijab to Christian mission established 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.
He 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 also expressed their concern on ban of morning devotions and assemblies in schools in some states in the country, saying the action must be rescinded.
According to him, “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 had 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.”
The Christian body further condemned the ban of Religions Knowledge and History in schools saying that it was a ploy by government to use it as an attack on other religions and that “such approach does not allow for moral training, upbringing and character moulding in our children who are leaders of tomorrow.”
The representative of the outgoing National CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritjafor, Ven. Nelson Fadoju who is also the association’s Director of Planning, Research and Statistics commended the state Christians for their unity in the face of oppression and for standing solidly behind their leaders in the state.
CAN leaders from across the state’s 30 local governments and Ife-East Area Office, Modakeke attended the parley amidst heavy presence of security agencies around the premises of the meeting.