ISI hijab: Muslim parents petition DSS, NHRC over alleged intimidation, harassment of students

ISI hijab: Muslim parents petition DSS, NHRC over alleged intimidation, harassment of students

- Parents of Muslim students in ISI have petitioned DSS and NHRC over the crisis rocking the school

- Some principal officers of the school were alleged to have intimidated Muslim students of the school for wearing their hijab

- The parents, however, urged the security agency to urgently wade into the crisis to curtain possible break down of law and order

The crisis rocking the International School, University of Ibadan (ISI) on Thursday, July 11, took another twist as parents of Muslim students in the school petitioned the director general of the Department of State Service (DSS), and the executive secretary of National Human Right Commission (NHRC) over alleged intimidation and harassment of their children in the school.

Legit.ng's regional reporter in Ibadan, Ridwan Kolawole, reports that the use of hijab by female Muslim students in the school has, since November 2018, been generating lots of controversies because the school management opposed the use of hijab by the female students.

This, according to the report, compelled the parents of some Muslim students to jointly sue the school, its principal, University of Ibadan,+ and the chairman of the board of governors of the school who also doubled as deputy vice-chancellor of the institution.

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Justice Ladiran Akintola of Oyo state high court had on June 26, struck out the suit filed by the parents on the basis that the petitioners were not supposed to file the case jointly.

Legit.ng gathered that principal of the school, Phebean Olowe, and other staff of the school including the school accountant, who is simply identified as Odewale had since then reportedly been harassing, victimising and persecuting the female Muslim students whose parents sued the institution through their parents.

It was learnt that a parent, Idris Olabode Badiru, had on Thursday, July 4, raised the alarm over what he termed as molestation and inhumane treatment of his daughter, Ikhlas Badiru, by the Olowe, Odewale and other staff of the school.

Ikhlas and few other students were reportedly assaulted for wearing their hijab outside the school gate.

The Muslim parents in a petition entitled: "International School Ibadan Hijab situation: Preventing a looming crisis," signed by the duo of its chairman, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun and the secretary, Hajia Bilkis Badiru, and addressed to the director general of DSS, said it is necessary to inform the DSS on the situation in the school which could degenerate into a breakdown of law and order in the institution and the state in general if not urgently curtailed.

The statement read in part: "This flagrant disregard for the constitutional rights of the girls to adorn the hijab especially outside the school premises was considered an affront on the collective sensibilities of the Muslims who have children in the school. However, we calmed ourselves down thinking the principal was quoted out of context.

"On July 4, the situation became worse as the girls were thoroughly disgraced outside the school premises under the watchful eyes of the chief security officer of the University of Ibadan, the school vice principal, Akintunde, Odewale of the accounts department, hordes of security personnel from both the university and the school and some gun-wielding policemen.

"The matter was promptly reported to the leadership of the University of Ibadan Muslim community, who swung into action by contacting the university administration. This probably informed the decision of the school authority to relax their draconian posture on 5th and 8th July to a more sinister but less observable form of harassment."

The parents in another petition entitled: "International School Ibadan Hijab situation: Request for Intervention" and addressed to the executive secretary of NHRC, said it was disturbing that the school principal through a staff of the account department and a security guard, John Mike, took the laws into their own hands by harassing the students for adorning the Hijab outside the school premises.

READ ALSO: NAIJ.com upgrades to Legit.ng: a letter from our Editor-in-Chief Bayo Olupohunda

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the immediate past deputy vice chancellor (academic), of the institution, Professor Abideen Aderinto, said the hijab crisis that rocked the ISI was the most challenging period of his tenure.

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Source: Legit

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