By Babajide Okeowo
A protest by Christian and Muslim parents of students of the Oyun Baptist High School in Ijagbo, Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State, over the use of Hajib, has turned bloody.
One person was feared killed and four others sustained varying degrees of injuries during the protest.
It was gathered that the violence was triggered by the decision of the management of Oyun Baptist High School, on January 17, 2022 that Muslim students should not wear Hijab to the school again.
Meanwhile, Kwara State Government through the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Sa’adatu Modibbo Kawu, condemned the violence and appealed for calm, warning that violence was unacceptable.
Arewa Voice gathered that the opposing parents (Muslims and Christians) students protested in the morning at the gate of the school displaying placards to express their positions. But the protest suddenly turned violent after the opposing parents’ confrontation and their sympathisers degenerated. Hoodlums took advantage of the situation and freely used dangerous weapons, during which one person was reportedly shot in the head and four others sustained severe injuries.
It took the intervention of the anti-riot mobile police team drafted to restore peace in the school to end the protest. “The person that sustained a gunshot to the head has been reported dead this (yesterday) afternoon. It was a peaceful protest before it was hijacked by sympathisers and hoodlums, “said a source.
Spokesman of the state police command, Ajayi Okasanmi, in a statement said normalcy had been restored in the area and warned the residents of Ijagbo to embrace the peace, that anyone found threatening the peace would be arrested and prosecuted.
A Police statement titled, “Re: Hijab crisis in Ijagbo, Oyun Local Government” reads:
“The Kwara State Police Command wishes to inform the general public, especially, citizens and residents of Ijagbo community and its environs, that the Command’s Tactical units and conventional police men deployed to Ijagbo have successfully restored peace and are also on ground to ensure that no further break down of law and order is allowed.
The above action is sequel to the crisis related to the wearing of Hijab in schools which matter has been in contention between the Christian and Muslim faithful in Kwara State. Of current concern was the breakdown of law and other between Ijagbo community and protesting Muslim parents, where dangerous weapons were freely used.”