Lagos govt issues circular on hijab

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The Lagos state government has finally issued a circular ordering school administrators and principals in the state to allow Muslim students to wear hijab in all state-owned schools.

The circular, with reference number CIR/HOS/’22/Vol.1/068 which was issued earlier in the week and signed by the State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri Okunola, takes effect immediately.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) had appealed to the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to intervene in the hijab matter, saying it affects the constitutional rights of Muslims in the state.

MURIC Director, Prof Ishaq Lakin Akintola recalled that the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of the use of hijab in all Lagos State schools on Friday, June 17, 2022, but was worried that the Lagos State Government had not made any statement since the ruling.

“It’s hereby notified for general information that the supreme court judgment SC/910/2016 delivered on the 17th of June 2022 on the use of Hijab as it affects pupils/students in Lagos State schools has delivered that the students should be allowed to wear the hijab if desired,” the statement read in part.

Muri-Okunola noted that comprehensive guidelines on the use of the hijab will be issued to all agencies of the government in due course, adding that, “you’re to note that the judgment is binding on all schools in the State.

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“As a law-abiding administration, all accounting officers are to note the contents of this circular for immediate compliance and give it the deserved service-wide publicity,” he noted.

Reacting to the development, Hajiah Mutiat Orolu-Balogun of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, HRAI, expressed delight over the news, saying that the state has shown that it is a responsible and law-abiding government by making it easy for the Supreme Court judgment on hijab to be executed.

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