The Director-General of the NYSC, Brigadier-General, Johnson Olawumi has insisted on the ban on the use of the HIJAB in orientation camps saying it was “for security reasons” and will not be lifted.
We reported last week that the Benue State camp commandant, Captain Abalaba was decamped for harassing a female corps member for wearing a hijab. Then on Tuesday, Members of Muslim Youths in Da’wah staged a peaceful protest at the NYSC Headquarters in Abuja against the ban.
The national coordinator of LMYiD, Luqman Hassan; and the Deputy Coordinator, Kamarudeen Adefila, had told the DG that a major protest by Muslims was averted because of the ban on hijab in most orientation camps.
The coordinator said Muslims are guided by principles which are based on the Holy Q’uran, the constitution and the African Charter on Human rights. He said that corpers should be protected by the Corps. He further sais that they “don’t believe that a female corps member putting on hijab has done any wrong against the Act establishing the NYSC.” The groups haven visited many camps in the country claim that the rights of female corps members are being infringed upon in those camps.
“Many Muslim organisations wanted to protest, but we said wait a while. In fact, we have to intervene to avoid the situation and if Muslims march on the streets, it will attract a lot of negative comments, but people won’t know why we are protesting,” Adefila had added.
The DG responded by saying that 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.”
“Why are you so particular on your alleged infraction on the rights of youths without mentioning any one of such on Christian youths? Produce your evidence, write to us and I can assure you that we will act fast. When the incident in Benue State was reported to us, I swung into action and ensured that the camp commandant was decamped immediately. We are not magicians; if you have any evidence, write to us and we will not hesitate to act.”
According to the NYSC Legal Adviser, Ahmed Tijani Ibrahim, the incident in Benue State was still being investigated. Being a Muslim himself, he noted everyone has being treated equally in NYSC camps and minor issues could trigger off unnecessary mass protest.