No Hijab, No Vote Comment Against Governor Makinde: Christian Group Warns MURIC

A faith rights organization has warned the  Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola, to desist from making hateful and inciting comments against the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde. 
Akintola seems to be getting away with all his provocative statements capable of inciting religious crisis. We hope when Christian groups respond in the same manner and measure, they will not be invited by security agencies!

Akintola’s recent campaign of ‘No hijab, No Vote”, where he asked Muslims in Oyo State not to re-elect Gov. Makinde in the 2023 election, amounts to a ” campaign of calumny and threat to peace”, the Ecumenical Youth Association (EYA) alleged.

The statement issued on February 11, 2022, by the MURIC Director had said “Oyo State Muslims must take the message of liberty to the villages and hamlets. The hills of Moniya and the valleys of Akanran must echo our slogan. ‘No Hijab, No Vote’ must reverberate on Mapo Hill. Muslim women in Oyo-Ile, Oke Ogun, Ogbomosho, etc, must breathe the air of liberty. Enough is enough. We are leaving Babylon.

“Muslims who have voters’ cards must dust them up. They should check them now and ensure they remember where their voters’ cards are kept before the day of the election. Those who have no cards should quickly set the machinery in motion to collect their PVC. Your vote is your weapon. Your vote is your power. Your vote will liberate you from the tyranny of your oppressors.”

Akintola gave the charge to the Muslim faithful in Oyo after Governor Makinde clarified a statement he earlier made in commemoration of the 2022 World Hijab Day.

Makinde, in the statement issued by his Special Assistant on Islamic Affairs, Abdulrasheed Abdazeez, had said that he had “instructed those in positions of authority in the state’s public service and across all our public schools not to intimidate or harass anyone because of their religious beliefs or practices” adding that “hijab is the pride of every female Muslim and it remains sacrosanct.”

But after media reports quoted him wrongly on the use of Hijab for female Muslim students in Oyo schools, Makinde clarified that his administration had not altered the state’s policy on freedom of religion as contained in a circular dated October 27, 2013, and in consonance with the Nigerian constitution.

“In Muslim named/faith-based public schools, the usage/wearing of hijab as part of the school uniform is allowed in accordance with Islamic tradition/religious belief of student who may wish to do so.
“In Christian named/faith-based public schools, the student’s uniform should be in line with the established tradition of the school and Christian Faith.

“In Community-based public schools, the usage/wearing of a common hijab/beret by female students is permissible. This is however optional for parents/students who wish to do so,” the governor had clarified.
Reacting, however, the MURIC Director, Akintola, accused Governor Makinde of trying to “rob” female Muslim students in the state of “their identity” while threatening that “Muslims in the state will speak to him in the language he understands” in the 2023 elections.

But the Ecumenical Youth Association President, Daboikiabo Z. Warmate and Secretary, National Affairs, Gbenga Adedamola, in a statement issued,  described Akintola’s remark as “ nothing less than purveying the same religious extremism and ideological radicalism as ISWAP and BOKO HARAM”.

Warmate in rehashing Prof Farooge words said: “MURIC is a trademark of comical drivel and a one-man circus clown that does not deserve the attention of any reasonable and sensible person”.

“It is a figment of his imagination to think that, he can foist the use of hijab on students in Oyo State public schools without respect for their religious subscription”.

The group further condemned the incessant attacks on Christian leaders most especially and recently, the Governors of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, and  Taraba State, Architect Darius Ishaku. Also, they commended the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko for sensing and condemning Akintola’s comment and the dangers it poses to national security.

“Is the so-called professor being sponsored to destabilize Nigeria? If not, why all these careless statements he is making with impunity? But he must be made to understand that the use of hijab must be voluntary and not mandatory, especially in Nigeria where there is a mixed religious base of Muslims, Christians, and even traditional adherents, et al. He must know that where a Muslim’s rights stop is where a Christian’s rights begin and so on.

“To think that the hijab controversy has caused sharp religious divisions in Kwara State and Osun State of late is even concerning and nobody in power should ever go the way of Osun and Kwara. Never!

The EYA acknowledged Emmanuel’s statement that: “The religious fundamental views expressed by Akintola is akin to the Islamisation agenda rumored by many when President Muhammadu Buhari came into office in 2015. For a country to have Muslims heading its executive arm, the two arms of the legislature and the judiciary, yet the Christians aren’t complaining. Must their children now be forced to use hijabs at schools?

“Akintola must wake up from his myopic slumber and desist from his senseless and mindless views. The use of hijab or otherwise is a personal choice and does not even in any way guarantee sound moral behaviours. Examples abound in society”.

“The Sultan, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar-led Jama’atu Nasril Islam, should caution MURIC’s Akintola now before he turns Nigeria to another Afghanistan with his extreme religious intolerance. Security agents should also not hesitate to invite him for questioning for making inciting comments against the Oyo State governor.”

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