Wednesday, 25 November 2015

NYSC Insists On Ban Of Hijab For Security Reasons

Brigadier-General Johnson Olawumi, the director-general of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has insisted the ban on the use of hijab by female corps members will not be overturned for security reasons.

The director general said this when he received a group of Muslim youths under the aegis of Muslim Youths in Da’wah on Tuesday, November 24 at the headquarters of NYSC in Abuja.

The Punch reports that Luqman Hassan and Kamarudeen Adefila, the national coordinator and his deputy told Olawumi that they had intercepted a major protest that would have taken place over the ban of Hijab in orientation camps.

Hassan said: “We are here to discuss with you about the incident that happened recently in various camps across the country. We have a guiding principle which is based on the Holy Q’uran. We are all Nigerians and the principle which guides us is the constitution and the African Charter on Human rights.

“Members of the NYSC are Nigerians who have contributed to the development of this country; female corps members deserve protection by the NYSC. We don’t believe that a female corps member putting on hijab has done any wrong against the Act establishing the NYSC. So they deserve the respect of the NYSC. We have travelled far and wide and visited different camps. Why are the rights of female corps members being infringed upon. We are here to register our displeasure.”

The director general in his reply said: “Under my leadership, the NYSC will accord respect to every corps member, irrespective of tribe and religion. The incident in Benue State was caused by the use of long hijab. The security situation in the country is tough. There is the danger of somebody using hijab for other reasons.

“There have been cases where young girls put on hijab and eventually turn to suicide bombers. Boko Haram members know how to get at whoever they want as target. That is why we frown at the wearing of long hijab. Please call on all your Muslim youths to be patient and adhere to it, just for a short period during the camp. We frown at long hijab because of the security implication.”

Ahmed Tijani Ibrahim, the NYSC legal adviser assured that everyone in camp will be treated equally and fairly.

“I’m a Muslim and in our camps, I know that we have treated everybody equally. You mentioned the fact that you would have proceeded to protest. Very minor issues could trigger off mass protest.

“We will see the way forward to this complaint. I can assure you that the issue will not be swept under the carpet. The NYSC is very sensitive to the issue of religion and immediately we heard of it, we swung into action and we are on it because issues of religion are very sensitive.”

Meanwhile, Olawumi appealed to private, public institutions and individuals to stop seeking for concessional posting of prospective corps members.