The Catholic Diocese of Kwara has said it rejects the use of hijab in grant-aided missionary schools in Kwara State.
Paul Olawoore, the Catholic Bishop of Ilorin Diocese, said this in a statement issued by Rev. Fr. Ralph Ajewole, Director of Ecumenism and Interfaith Dialogue of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Bishop Olawoore, who is also the Chairman of the Kwara State chapter of CAN, said the diocese was not in agreement with the government over the use of hijab in mission schools.
He, however, discouraged any form of violence by all contending parties over the issue.
He said: “I don’t want any confrontation that will inflict pain or any kind of injury on anybody. Neither do I wish that anyone should lose his or her life on this issue.”
The bishop also said it was time to join hands to show the world that peaceful coexistence and tolerance was the way to go, rather than apportioning blame or accusing one another derogatorily.
Ajewole denied reports that Christians in the state had agreed to the use of hijab in government grant-aided missions schools, describing them as lies.
“We insist that the Catholic Church rejects and condemns the use of hijab in our mission schools. No matter how hard anyone tries to change the narrative, we stand with CAN that the use of hijab is totally rejected in schools built and owned by Christians,” the statement read.
The Catholic cleric also described as unpleasant government agents’ forceful breaking of schools’ gates under the watch of armed men.