Governor of Kwara, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, says the state will reconstitute an interfaith committee to address the hijab controversy in public schools in a bid to build confidence and provide templates to steadily “resolve all issues of mutual concerns” between the Muslims and Christians in the state
The hijab controversy led to the closure of 10 grant-aided missionary schools in February but asked them to reopen on March 19.
Speaking in a televised broadcast on Tuesday, the governor assured that the issue would be resolved.
“I acknowledge the apprehension from the Christian and Muslim communities. Having held dozens of meetings with various thoughts leaders from both sides in the last four weeks, I am convinced that beneath the tensions and misgivings around the hijab decision are old wounds that must be healed,” he said.
“I assure all Kwarans that we will take genuine steps to address the concerns raised by various faith communities.
“In doing so, a huge dose of understanding, selflessness, and patriotism will be required. Going forward, we will need leaders from both sides to spread message of love, accommodation, patience, peace, and mutual respect.
“Notwithstanding their varied positions, I am proud of the level of restraints and statesmanship shown by our religious leaders.
“I commend them and reassure them that we will always be fair, courageous in taking decisions for sustainable peace, and be willing to listen to their concerns.
“The starting point will be the reconstitution in the coming days of the interfaith committee to further build confidence as well as provide templates to steadily resolve all issues of mutual concerns.
“I commend the security agencies for their professionalism and their sticking to strategic patience jointly agreed upon. This has helped to prevent loss of lives and properties, while keeping crisis merchants in check.
“I urge parents to speak to their wards to stay away from trouble. Any attempt to take advantage of the situation to foment trouble will be met with maximum punishment prescribed by the law.”
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