The Kwara State Government (KWSG) yesterday re-opened Baptist High School, Oyun, where crisis erupted in 2022 due to the refusal of the school authorities to obey the state government’s directive permitting the use of hijab in all schools in the state. However, an Islamic human rights association, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has cried foul over the move to re-open the school. MURIC is demanding justice for the 20-year old Muslim killed during the protest.
In a statement issued on Friday, 3rd June, 2022 by the group’s leader, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC complained that the murder case has been swept under the carpet.
The full statement reads:
“The Kwara State Government (KWSG) yesterday re-opened Baptist High School, Oyun, where crisis erupted in February 2022 due to the refusal of the school authorities to obey the state government’s directive permitting the use of hijab in all schools in the state.
“While we are not interested in disrupting the educational pursuit of the students, we are perturbed that no arrest has been made for the killing of 20-year old Habeeb Idris who was fatally shot during the demonstration outside the school’s gate by fully armed members of the Baptist mission who had assembled inside the school to prevent hijab clad female Muslim students from gaining entrance into the school.
“While we welcome the reopening of the school and fully endorse KWSG position on government’s ownership of all public schools, we frown at government’s silence on the killing of Habeeb Idris.
“We are miffed that there has been no single arrest four months after life was snuffed out of a promising young Muslim. There must be consequences for criminality and using live ammunition against young children is the height of brutish behavior.
“Somebody inside the school shot Habeeb. It is premeditated murder. Otherwise what are gunmen doing inside a school? Four other students were macheted and they sustained varied degrees of injuries. Members of the Baptist mission were ready to kill in order to enforce their will not only on innocent Muslim students but also on the state government. They had the noun ‘murder’, the verb ‘to kill’ and they actually did. Those blood thirsty zealots should not be allowed to go scot free.
“KWSG in its statement said it opened the school in order to restore normalcy. But there can be no normalcy without peace and justice is the soul of peace. Unless KWSG is seeking peace of the graveyard, it must pursue justice by ensuring that the killers of Habeeb Idris are apprehended. The spirit of young Habeeb is calling for justice.
“We are asking the Nigerian Police to tell us why Muslim life is so cheap that nothing happens when a Muslim is killed but the police will spring into action the moment a Christian is the victim.
“Two Muslim students were arrested within hours of the killing of Deborah Samuel. Nobody has been arrested since the killing of Habeeb on 3rd February, 2022. Interestingly, today is 3rd June, 2022. That makes four whole months or 120 days of inaction on the part of the police. Also, the police are yet to arrest a single suspect for the nine month pregnant Harirah Jibril and her four children who were brutally murdered two weeks ago just because they were Muslims.
“We demand action from men of Kwara State Command of the Nigerian Police. It is lukewarm attitude like this which forces Nigerians to seek self help. It is responsible for mob action. Justice must not only be done but must be seen to have been done particularly where human life is involved.” #MuslimLivesMatter