Gov Umar Bago
The Niger State Government has dismissed reports about an attempt to ban Hijab in schools in the state.
It was learned that the Commissioner for Education, Hadiza Asabe Mohammed, had reportedly said she “sees no reason why a female teacher will wear Hijab and be comfortable with her teaching.
According to Leadership, the commissioner said this at a meeting with principals, headmasters and other critical stakeholders in the education sector last Saturday.
But in a statement on Monday, Governor Umaru Mohammed Bago said the commissioner’s statement does not reflect the state government’s position on using Hijab by women in any field of endeavour.
Through his Chief Press Secretary, Bologi Ibrahim, the governor stated that the commissioner’s statement was taken out of context and should not be taken as the government’s official position.
Ibrahim disclosed that the commissioner’s meeting with the principals, headmasters and other stakeholders was organised to sensitise them on the strategic plans of the Bago-led administration to boost education and the impending screening and competency test for teachers in the state.
He said the state government is not and has never been, against wearing Hijab, stressing that the commissioner’s statement must have been misconstrued.
Ibrahim said wearing Hijab is a religious obligation and that the Supreme Court had, in June last year, ruled that the constitution allows Muslim students and, by implication, teachers to wear Hijab.
“Niger State is a law-abiding state. Since the Nigeria Constitution allows Muslim students and teachers to wear the Hijab, the state government has the responsibility to ensure that the rights of the citizens are protected,” he stated.
He also confirmed that the commissioner has since disowned the story banning the use of long Hijabs in public schools, stressing that it was the handiwork of mischief makers.
Ibrahim said the commissioner, as a Muslim, was not unaware of the importance of Hijab and could not have been an impediment to its use.
He urged Nigerians to disregard the said media report in circulation, stressing that it was just a calculated attempt targeted to discredit the commissioner as an individual and put the government of Governor Umaru Mohammed Bago in disrepute.