Lagos approves hijab usage in schools

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu


The Lagos State Government has approved the use of hijab by female students or pupils who desire to.

This directive was issued in a circular dated December 5, 2022 and signed by the state’s Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, copied to relevant stakeholders which included the Deputy Governor, Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Chief Judge of the state, Secretary to the State Government, Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries.

In the memo titled, ‘Supreme Court judgment on the use of hijab in Lagos State Schools,’ which was seen by our correspondent on Tuesday, all concerned authorities in the education sector in the state were ordered to abide by the Supreme Court judgment which upheld the use of hijab by female students.

It read, “It is hereby notified for general information that the Supreme Court Judgement SC.910/2016 delivered on the 17th of June, 2022, on the use of hijab as it affects pupils/students in Lagos State schools has declared that students should be allowed to wear the hijab if desired.

“A comprehensive guideline on the use of hijab in schools will be issued by the state government in due course, however, you are to note that the judgment is binding on all schools in the state.

“As a law-abiding administration, all accounting officers are to note the contents of this circular for immediate compliance and give it the deserved service-wide publicity.”

This development came a few hours after the Muslim Rights Concern, appealed to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to intervene in the hijab issue, adding that it affected the constitutional rights of Muslims in the state.

The PUNCH had reported in June that the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by the Lagos State government and upheld the earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal which held that the ban on hijab was discriminatory against Muslim students in the state.

It would also be recalled that the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria had given the Lagos State Government a 30-day ultimatum in June to issue a circular on the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court which approved the use of hijab in Lagos schools.