Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq says his government took the decision allowing the use of hijab in public schools in good faith.
“We took that decision in good faith and in the overall interest of all. I swore to an oath to protect every Kwaran,” he said in statewide broadcast Tuesday evening.
In the heat of the controversy surrounding the use of the headcover in some grant-aided schools founded by Christian missions, the state government announced an official policy allowing Muslim students to wear the hijab in all public schools.
“That announcement followed several days of consultations, meetings, brainstorming and dispassionate weighing of policy options,” the governor stated.
The decision which later snowballed into pockets of violence was opposed by Christian leaders who mobilised worshipers to protest the approval.
Despite the dissent from some religious groups, the 10 schools affected have been reopened with security operatives manning their gates.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday evening, Mr AbdulRazaq acknowledged 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 hijaab decision are old wounds that must be healed.
“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.