The Kwara State Muslim Stakeholders’ Forum, on Wednesday appealed to the the state government to enforce religious freedom of all students in all schools in the state, irrespective of original ownership of the schools.
Chairman of the group, Mallam Is-haq Abdulkarim, appealed to peace loving Christians in the state to advise their brethren to allow peace to reign, not only in schools, but throughout the state.
At a press conference held in Ilorin, the group spoke on the background of a recent judgement of a court of appeal won by the state government against some owners of faith based schools in the state, ROYAL NEWS reports.
According to him, “You will recall that recently, there was about to be a religious crisis in the Ilorin metropolis as a result of actions pointing to a claim that being proprietors of faith based schools already taken over by government they still have full ownership.
“This made them (Christian Association of Nigeria CAN) to take state government to court; from high court to appeal court from where they lost.
“With this judgement of the court of appeal which affirmed the earlier one delivered in 2016 by the Ilorin High court, we hereby call on the Kwara state government through the ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to enforce the religious freedom of all students in all schools in the state, irrespective of the so-called original proprietors.
“We seize this opportunity to appeal to peace loving Christians in the state to advise their brethren to allow peace to reign not only in our schools but throughout the state.
“We are concerned by this matter because our children in some Christian secondary schools originally owned by the Christian missions have been facing intimidation, harassment and denial on the basis of their faith- Islam. This is worrisome in a state with over 80 per cent Muslim population of which 14 out of its 16 local governments have overwhelming Muslim majority”, he said.
Mallam Abdulkarim also said that the judgement of Appeal Court on the matter implied that management and control of all grant-aided schools belonged to the Kwara state government and under the control of the state governor.
He also said that wearconstitution. in all schools in Kwara state “is the fundamental right of all female Muslim students which cannot be restricted by any regulation or law whatsoever; that right having been donated by the constitution.
“All government policies like changing of class rooms to mosque, building of mosque in schools and all enhancement towards propagation of Islam to students in schools are allowed and must not be stopped.
“To insist that Muslims in all grant-aided schools must dress, pray and sing in Christian ways amount to discrimination of their rights and such must not be allowed”.
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