The controversy over the use of hijab in Secondary Schools in Kwara State, has on Wednesday, degenerated to violence at the Baptist Secondary School, in Ilorin, the State capital.
The School is one of the 10 which was shutdown last month by the State Government, over the controversy, and reopened only on Wednesday.
The State Government had waded in and ordered the closure of the Schools, to avert violent clashes by Christian and Muslim groups.
On Tuesday, it announced that the Schools had been told to reopen, but must respect its policy that allows the use of the hijab in all public Schools.
“The government is convinced that its policy to allow willing Muslim schoolgirls to wear their hijab in public schools will lead to sustainable peace and communal harmony anchored on mutual respect and understanding”, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Kemi Adeosun, said on Tuesday night, while announcing the reopening of the Schools.
According to her, the Schools were reopened to enable the Students prepare for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination.
However, it was gathered that Christian parents at the School barred female Muslim Students from entering the School on Wednesday.
This led to a clash with their Muslim counterparts, which later escalated to the rival groups throwing stones and plastic chairs at themselves.
Some of the people were injured before Security Agents arrived to disperse the fighters.
The President, Kwara Baptist Conference, Victor Dada, told Journalists that the State Government does not respect the rule of law, by making pronouncements over a case already at the Supreme Court.
He said: “What transpired this morning is simply because the government led by Governor AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq is not respecting the rule of law, and if the State Government does not respect the rule of law, there will be chaos.
“A case that is in Supreme Court, and judgment has not been given, the Governor is making pronouncement.
“As long as the State Government does not respect the rule of law, we will defend our property and our faith.
“We will not allow hijab in our School, because this is a Christian Mission School, let Kwara State Government respect the rule of law.”
At C & S College, Sabo Oke, Christians were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions like “Kwara State is for all, not an Islamic State”, “We say no to Hijab”, and “Our School is our heritage”.
The protestors prevented the Students and Teachers from entering the School premises.
Similarly, at St. Anthony’s Secondary School, Offa road, the Teachers and Students were also seen hanging around the School premises, as the Police, Soldiers, and Civil Defence Personnel, were seen trying to calm frayed nerves.
At the Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam, the School remained shutdown, with a few Students and Security Personnel seen around the Institution.
However, at ECWA School, Oja Iya, academic activities have resumed, as Students were already seated in their classrooms.