- There is an impending unrest at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, on Thursday, November 18
- Some concerned Muslims have vowed to protest the alleged removal of hijab from a Muslim female student of the Faculty of Nursing by the Dean, Professor Ajibade Lawal
- Lawal was reported to have picked on the student who dressed in hijab covering her face with Niqab while citing an example of how not to dress as a nursing student or as a practitioner
Ogbomoso, Oyo state – There is an uneasy calm at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso on Thursday, November 18, and the institution may soon be thrown into crisis if necessary steps are not taken.
Legit.ng‘s regional reporter in Ibadan, Ridwan Kolawole, stated that a group of Muslims have vowed to stage a protest against what they described as overzealous behaviour of the Dean, Faculty of Nursing, Professor Ajibade Lawal who asked a Muslim female student to remove her hijab in public.
Professor Lawal was addressing the students of his Faculty during an interactive session of the LAUTECH Open and Distance Learning Programme with the students in the Faculty.
How it happened
On Wednesday, November 17, at a meeting with the students of the Faculty of Nursing, the Dean, Professor Lawal was reportedly addressing the students on the code of conduct for nursing students and professionals.
Speaking on the dressing code, Professor Lawal stated that the approved dressing for the nursing students does not include wearing of hijab or niqaab (veil).
The meeting was called by the LAUTECH Open and Distance Learning Centre (LODLC) of the University to interact with the students ahead of their forthcoming examinations.
In a bid to give examples of inappropriate dress, she called out some ladies wearing hijab (without veil) and singled them out as non-conformists.
An eye witness told Legit.ng reporter that the Dean was not sufficiently satisfied with the two instances and this made him specifically look out for a “full” hijab-wearing woman.
Later on, he was able to locate a female student who was sitting at an extreme end of the hall. The professor was reportedly angry that the said student kept quiet while he was looking for an example of a female student putting on veil.
A source who spoke to Legit.ng anonymously said Professor Lawal requested the matric number of the woman and instructed her to choose from three options.
The Dean was quoted to have said:
“It is either you go and come back the next semester, next session or never come back again.”
The Dean also boasted that nobody can question his decision.
The source said:
“The sister begged him and elders in the class moved out and they all went on their knees including the sister in question. The next thing we saw was that this sister stood up without niqab.
“The Man said bravely that we should quote him anywhere to the council level nobody can question him.”
Professor Lawal noted that he was also a devout Muslim.
Reactions and threats
Some Muslim organisations including the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria have reportedly vowed to disrupt school activities if the Dean, Professor Ajibade Lawal failed to apologise.
Muslim students aggrieved by the development are reportedly on the campus of LAUTECH to protest the action of the professor.
One of those ready to protest said of the professor:
“That is how sad he behaves, don’t you know? Just last month he slapped a student.”
Reacting, the management of LAUTECH confirmed that the unfortunate incident which happened on Wednesday, November 17 is being handled by an investigation panel.
The university’s spokesman, Akin Fadeyi, urged the students to be patient and go about their lawful duties to allow investigations on the matter.
Fadeyi said “the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mojeed Olaide Liasu already mandated the Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Professor Adeyemi, to supervise a high powered investigation into the matter.”
“Management is therefore imploring students particularly, to maintain peace as they go about their duties on the Unit premises to allow the investigation into the matter to go on.
“The Ag. Vice-Chancellor has assured that nobody will be shielded.”
Oyo state government assures peace
Meanwhile, the special adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on religious affairs, Alhajj Abdrasheed Abdulazeez, who also confirmed the incident told Legit.ng that he had spoken with relevant stakeholders including the Vice-Chancellor and the Chief Imam of the University to ensure peace prevails.
Alhajj Abdulazeez promised that appropriate sanctions will be imposed where necessary:
“I spoke with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Liasu and he confirmed that with a promise that the matter will be addressed.
“I also spoke with the Imam and assure that the matter will be resolved this morning. But there is the need to hear from the alleged Professor as well for the sake of a fair hearing.
“And the Imam of LAUTECH is instrumental to the approval of Nursing in the university.”
The governor’s aide assured that the Makinde-led government will not relent on its drive to ensure religious harmony in the state.
CAN reveals what will happen if hijab is legalised in Nigeria
Following the raging hijab crisis in schools across the country, a bill was recently presented before the House of Representatives to legalise the use of hijab by female Muslims in public and private educational institutions across the country.
However, the leadership of the National Assembly was urged by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to suspend the bill.
The Christian association in a statement by Joseph Bade Daramola, its general secretary, said that the Act was ill-timed. Speaking further, CAN warned that legalising the use of hijab would cause trouble in Nigeria, adding that those who start it may not be able to handle it.