Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola has challenged those making allegation about his involvement in the hijab legal imbroglio, to come up with proof, saying he never ordered the use of hijab by female Muslim students in public schools in the state.
Aregbesola stated this at the roundtable on Development Collaborative Framework for Education Development and Advancement organised by the Development and Advancement in Western Nigeria (DAWN) in Osogbo, the state capital.
The Governor was apparently reacting to the recent rejection of court judgment permitting willing Muslim ladies to wear hijab in public secondary schools.
He stressed that those making such claims can only be mischievous as they lack concrete prove to substantiate their claims.
The Governor, equally challenged those accusing him of plunging the state into religious crisis, to present video clips, voice recordings or a written speech evidence where he either directly or indirectly ordered female Muslim students to wear Hijab with their uniforms.
Aregbesola said all programmes introduced by his government into the state’s education re-branding were resolutions that came out of the education summit organised by his administration shortly after coming into office.
He noted that the resolution of the summit, headed by Professor Wole Soyinka, never considered nor recommended any religion.
“There is nothing religious in any of our policies. The fact on ground contradicts our opposition’s claim. The choice of my deputy governor tells it all. I knew she is a pentecostalist of the highest order before I picked her. Everything we have done in the line of education is in line with the resolution of our education summit.
Against all speculations, I have not ordered the use of Hijab, I challenge anybody with evidence to come out and show that I have made a proclamation on Hijab.
If I have permitted Hijab, will the Muslim have gone to court to challenge it, is that not contradictory?. Is it a crime that I am a Muslim? Is it because I struggle to be a good Muslim that everything I do is being misunderstood? I think I don’t deserve all these lies against me”, he said.
Speaking on education in the southwest, the Governor noted that the downward trend in education should be worrisome due to the role of education in development as it presents a platform for leadership recruitment and a means for character building and good citizenship.
He urged the stakeholders in the education sector to use the roundtable to reinvent what made the south west a pacesetter for the entire country in the past.