By Gbenga Osinaike
The Lagos chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria has expressed shock at the recent
approval of hijab wearing for Muslim students despite the pending court case noting that it would continue to study the development and take appropriate steps when necessary.
The Chairman of the body in Lagos, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola made this disclosure during a parley with Christian Publishers Association of Nigeria at his office in Lagos on Wednesday.
The Lagos State Government on Monday asked principals and teachers to allow the use of ‘smart hijab’. A statement, signed by one O.A. Olukoya, for the Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary, Education District VI, which consisted of schools in Ikeja, Mushin and Oshodi areas of Lagos, said disciplinary actions should be downplayed on the use of hijab pending the determination of a suit on the matter before the Supreme Court.
The statement read in part, “Since the case of the use of hijab in Lagos State is still pending in the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the status quo should be maintained, to avoid contempt of court. That is, students may be allowed to wear hijabs on school uniforms, but same must be short, smart, neat and in the colour of the school uniform (skirt).
“Furthermore, school managements are advised to downplay comments and disciplinary actions on the use of smart hijabs until the final determination of the case by the Supreme Court. No student should be discriminated against in any form on the basis of religion,”
But Apostle Bamgbola noted that as law abiding citizens the Christian Association will for now exercise restraint and allow the courts to adjudicate on the matter before taking a stand. “We are law abiding citizens and we will not like to stir undue controversy. We had thought since the case is in court the government will exercise restrain in approving the use of hijab. But since they have chosen to approve it, we will wait pending the determination of the case in court.”
He however urged Christians in the state to prayerfully wait for the courts to give a ruling. “We urge our brothers to prayerfully wait for the courts because we believe in the judiciary. Whichever way the ruling turns out, we are sure that it will be for the good of the church. One thing is certain the Christian community cannot be stampeded and blackmailed. Whatever distraction that is being planned by some people will not succeed”
At the parley Bamgbola urged the CPAN not to relent in its role of informing and educating Nigerians on the strategic role the church is playing in making Nigeria an egalitarian and stable society.
“From what I have seen so far, you have a strategic role to play in Nigeria and I believe that God has brought you together for a time like this in our nation to help dispel falsehood and enthrone righteousness through your writings and editorials.”
He lamented the infiltration of the church by charlatans assuring that the CAN would continue to support the CPAN to sanitise the church and rid it of elements who are bent on tarnishing the image of the Church in Nigeria.