Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo has commended the timely intervention of the Governor of Osun State in the recent uproar generated by a court judgment over the use of hijab in public schools.
He says Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s neutrality and fair comments on the controversy helped to douse the tension generated by the needless crisis.
Obasanjo gave the commendation while speaking as the Chairman at the handover ceremony of a multi-purpose hall and a library donated by Senator Yinka Omilani to Ode-Omu community in Osun State.
The former president said tact and ingenuity displayed by the Governor during the protest by a Christian group that greeted the court verdict which permits the use of hijab by willing Muslim ladies presents a perfect example of statecraft.
Obasanjo said the Governor’s statement confirmed his neutrality in the conflict.
“The Governor (Aregbesola) said something which confirmed his neutrality in the matter; those words went a long way in dousing the tension which recently heightened in the state.”
Contrary to allegations by the Osun State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria that hijab verdict was an Islamisation agenda of Aregbesola, he had stoutly denied the allegation, saying he could not have forced the court to interpret the laws wrongly.
Voice of Nigeria reports that the Governor had said, if he could not order his wife and daughter to use of hijab, he could not have done that with the entire state.
Obasanjo described the donor, Senator Omilani, a former Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South West, as a great philanthropist whose contribution to his community and the nation can never be overlooked.
He urged the community to make the judicious use of the facilities which he described as a significant legacy.
Aregbesola reaffirmed his administration’s determination to provide infrastructure in nooks and crannies of the state, regardless of the current economic situation.
He announced that the ongoing construction of Gbongan/Ode-Omu dual-carriageway will be completed before the end of this year.
The Governor lauded the noble gestures of Senator Omilani, urging well-meaning individuals to emulate his kind gesture. .
Aregbesola noted that no matter the level of commitment , government could not do everything. He thus called for support from the privileged citizens not to leave the task of development to government alone.
Ultra Modern Library
The donor of the library, Senator Omilani attributed the construction of the ultra modern library and multi-purpose to his passion for education and development of Ode-Omu community.
He said the provision of public libraries is a sure way of expanding the horizon of knowledge and acquisition of life-long skill that will save the teeming youths from idleness and juvenile delinquency.
“I love my town and I have always identified with it. When we started raising money for the palace and hall projects, I used to champion the programme by inviting my friends and associates to come and donate generously”.
Omilani said the donation of 1000-seat capacity multipurpose library that could accommodate 100 persons were products of his study of what the town lacked.
“The library can conveniently accommodate up to 100 persons at a time. It has several shelves for the display of books and also has a section reserved as virtual library when fully utilised.
“It has been moderately kitted with books for a start and I wish to seize this opportunity to call on my fellow educated indigenes of Ode Omu to continuously seek ways of improving the library,” he appealed.
The former President’s message was delivered by Gbaabile of Egbaland, Dr. Femi Majekodunmi.
The event also attracted many prominent guests. Among whom are chieftains of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party. They are Chief Shuaib Oyedokun, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi; former Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan; amongst others.