Hijab controversy: Four Pastors and 16 others wounded in clash between Muslims and Christians in Kwara – President of the Baptist Conference, Victor Dada
Victor Dada, the President of the Baptist Conference in Kwara State has alleged that four Pastors and 16 others were wounded in the clash between Muslims and Christians at Baptist Secondary School, Surulere, Ilorin on Wednesday March 17.
The clash ensued after the government-funded Christian schools which had repeatedly been shut down by the state government over a dispute in the usage of Hijab by Muslim students, were reopened.
The Church leader who alleged that Christian peaceful demonstrators were attacked by ‘Muslim fundamentalists’ who allegedly attempted to burn the church, also claimed that they vandalised The Apostolic Church, Eruda Ilorin, a Church without any Grant Aided School.
Dada said in the statement;
“Christians who were on peaceful demonstration with drums and trumpets, came under serious attack by ‘Muslim fundamentalists’ “who mobilised themselves and touts in large number to attack us.
“Only the gallant resistance of members and eventual security reinforcements saved the church from being burnt. More than 20 people (including four pastors) were wounded with three hospitalised.
“The fundamentalist in the presence of security officials vehemently attempted to burn the Church and when repelled threatened to burn the Church either during the day or at night. They threw ‘petrol fire’ to the Church gate and vandilised the auditorium.
“The Muslim fundamentalists went ahead to vandalise The Apostolic Church, Eruda Ilorin, a Church without any Grant Aided School.
“It is surprising that the government has become a government of the Muslim by the Muslim for the Muslim in his (sic) policies, pronouncements and attitude.”
Dada also disclosed that the affected schools are grant aided schools and not public schools.
“At no time since the grant aiding policy started in 1974 has any government designed uniform for schools. This has always been the responsibility of the proprietors, be it community or mission. It should be noted that Christians have always complied with Islamic guidelines in grant aided Muslim school as Muslims do not allow any Christian practice in their schools.
“The Muslim and government should not take our gentleness for weakness. The government has not employed Christian Religion Knowledge in the last fifteen years but kept employing and posting Imam and Islamic religious teachers in large numbers (even in Mission Schools).
“We shall not allow Hijab in our schools. We will defend our faith and defend our inheritance. We demand that the government should return back our schools.”