An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called on the Oyo State Government to set up a panel to investigate the incident of a female Muslim student of the Online Distance Learning of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State, whose hijab was pulled off from behind by an official of the institution on Wednesday.
In a statement by its director, Ishaq Akintola, MURIC condemned the incident, describing it as barbaric.
The statement reads:
“A female Muslim student of the Online Distance Learning (ODL) of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State, had her niqab (veil) brutally pulled off from behind by an official of the institution on Wednesday, 17th November, 2021. The incident occurred in public during the semester face-to-face interaction.
“We strongly condemn this act. It is most egregious, reprehensible and despicable. Pulling off a woman’s dress in public is not only bohemian and barbaric, it is also uncultured and preposterous. It is a shameless assault on civilisation, and a disgraceful act of stigmatization. It is equally disturbing that this hate action is coming from a citadel of learning. LAUTECH should know better as an ivory tower. We are disappointed.
“Most disturbing is the fact that the detestable, unsavory and unethical assault on the innocent girl-child was perpetrated in the presence and with the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, Professor Ajibade Bayo Lawal who himself is described as a Muslim. But we have long discovered that Muslim haters often use infantile, jejune and half-baked Muslims to do their dirty works for them. Some who have converted to Christianity continue to bear Muslim names in a bid to deceive Muslims and in order to kowtow to the poohpooh of their principals.
“MURIC has long been monitoring the anti-Muslim acts of Professor Ajibade. In May 2021, Ajibade seized the jilbab of another female student by name Misrafat Gbolahan. A female friend who tried to intercede for Misrafat received a dirty slap. Again on 2nd November, 2021, the same Ajibade seized the jilbab of Marufat Basheer. Ajibade has been hounding male Muslim students who wear beards. The public removal of the niqab of another female Muslim student yesterday was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
“Ajibade’s cup of hate is now filled beyond the brim. He must pay for his anti-Muslim hostilities. LAUTECH is not a primary school, neither is it a glorified secondary school. Why then is this man treating the Muslim students like kids? This is a tertiary institution for crying out loud. Sadists who want to go back to the primary school where they can ferociously wield the ‘teacher’s cane’ while terrified school children tremble and crouch in corners are free to apply for deployment.
“MURIC is nonplussed by the emerging scenario in Oyo State. Muslim students, nay, Muslims in the state, have become endangered species. LAUTECH was encouraged by the lukewarm attitude of the state government to the plight of Muslims in the state. This is a precarious precedent and the impact on Muslims in the state is very simple. They may be militarized. They may be forced to defend themselves.
“Those who make laws impossible to obey make it impossible for people not to disobey. LAUTECH nursing dress code cannot be at cross-purposes with the laws of the nation. Any rule or regulation which fails to take cognizance of the multiculturality of this country is bound to bring conflict.
“MURIC charges the Oyo State Government to institute an investigation into cases of assault, stigmatization, oppression and persecution of LAUTECH Muslim students, particularly the ugly incident of Wednesday, 17th November, 2021.
“The rules of LAUTECH must not be allowed to ostracise Muslim students unless Oyo State Government can convince us that LAUTECH is funded with taxes paid by Christians alone. If we are all tax payers, we must all enjoy the dividends of democracy. Anything to the contrary is an open invitation to chaos. The hostile treatment meted out to Muslim students in LAUTECH is capable of causing a breach of the peace.
“Already, the Muslims Students in the school have issued an ultimatum for the school and Professor Ajibade to apologise or the school’s programmes will be in jeopardy. We implore Oyo State Government to act before things get out of hand. A panel of enquiry is a desideratum. Meanwhile we appeal to the Muslim students of LAUTECH and the Muslims of Oyo State in general to remain calm and law abiding”