The Federal Government has broken silence on the raging war over hijab wearing in basic schools across the country.
Minister for Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Sunday in Abuja, called for dialogue on matters of religious differences, rather than resorting to violence.
Adamu made the call while delivering his keynote address at the 2022 World Hijab Day Public Lecture, entitled: ‘The Hijab as a Metaphor of our National Aspirations.’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the public lecture was organised by Coalition of Muslim Women of Nigeria.
Adama, represented by Deputy Director, Social Mobilisation, Universal Basic Education Commission, Mrs Sidikat Shomope, said that Nigeria’s constitution guaranteed freedom of religion for all citizens.
“This, by implication, means that all citizens are allowed to practice their religion according to the dictates of their faith, as long as no harm or inconvenience is caused to other people.
“The wearing of hijab by Muslim women is in line with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as recommended in Qur’an 33:59.
“However, there has been much controversy on this matter in our country, which has unfortunately gone down to the school level and generated needless violent clashes.
“I wish to take this opportunity to remind our fellow citizens that there is a lot we can gain by dialoguing on matters of religious differences, rather than resorting to violence.
“Our children will remain citizens of Nigeria, irrespective of their faith. They will live and interact in the world outside their schools, where no boundary exists between the religions,” Adamu said.
The minister appealed to traditional, religious and community leaders to use their offices to douse tension and ensure peace, harmony and tolerance.
“I call on parents and our school teachers to ensure that in both words and actions, they present the best model to our children to emulate,” he said.
Earlier, a member of House of Representatives, Mrs Aishatu Dukku, assured that the National Assembly would ensure the passage of Religious Discrimination Prohibition Prevention Bill, 2021.
Also, the Guest Lecturer, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said that hijab was a vehicle of unification, both nationally and internationally, adding that it helped Muslim women to identify themselves.
Akintola also said that hijab was a symbol of social justice, freedom and equal rights, adding that it “commands confidence and radiates a feeling of safety.
“Hijab is a key to morality. A hijab wearing woman is 24 hours conscious of her responsibility. That a woman puts on her hijab is a sign of a responsible woman ready to build the nation.
“When you discriminate against a single woman, you are discriminating against the entire nation,” he said.
On her part, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Prof. Sa’adatu Liman, urged Muslim women to exhibit good conduct while wearing hijab. (NAN)