Monday, November 25, 2013

Osun School Principal Attacked for Sending Hijab-wearing Student Home

The Ejigbo community in Osun State was Monday thrown into a serious
crisis when a secondary school principal in the town was beaten to a
pulp by some hoodlums in the town. The principal has since been in
coma after his ordeal.
The hoodlums, who were said to have been sponsored by some prominent
Muslims in the town, stormed Baptist High School, Ejigbo as early as 8
am and walked straight to the principal's office where they reportedly
made some enquiries before they descended on him.
THISDAY yesterday gathered that the school authorities had last Friday
sent a female student home for allegedly wearing a veil (hijab) while
in the school, a decision which reportedly generated controversy in
the town and incurred the wrath of some Muslims.
On getting wind of the directive to the hijab-clad student, the Muslim
youths in the town mobilised and moved to the school to demand an
apology from the school principal yesterday. But when he refused to
grant their demand, they resorted to attacking him.
THISDAY also learnt that dangerous weapons such as axes, cutlasses and
charms were liberally used by the irate Muslim youths, while the
principal whose name could not be ascertained at press time, sustained
serious injuries.
Besides the principal, some teachers in the school were also attacked
and beaten by the mob which had descended on some members of staff of
the school before they were rescued.
The traditional ruler of the community, the Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba
Omowonuola Oyesosin, was said to have witnessed the incident and
ordered the principal and other affected teachers to be taken to his
palace to save them from the mob.
Ejigbo Baptist High School was originally a missionary school, but the
recent schools reclassification programme of the state government
resulted in its merger with students from Islamic and non-missionary
The incident was representative of the concern voiced by those who
felt that the merger of schools would breed chaos and generate
religious tension in the state.
Similar incidents had recently occurred at the Baptists Girls' High
School, Osogbo, and Baptist High School, Iwo.

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