The National Association of Seadogs (NAS) has called on the Kwara state government to be more proactive in handling the hijab controversy threatening the peace of the state.
The group, while acknowledging the concerted efforts the state government is making towards creating an enabling peaceful society, says it is glaring that there are still more things to be set in place.
In a statement signed by Tunde Dairo, Leader of Ruwan zafi Deck (Kwara State Chapter), the group condemns the pace at which the controversy has fast encouraged religious division.
“It is so obvious that the peace loving people of Kwara State are now divided along religious lines. Tolerance has taken flight among the people as the two major faiths are suspecting one another.
“The recent upheaval over issues on Hijab wearing in some schools and the ugly incident that occurred after schools were reopened calls for deep introspection among stakeholders.
In this lieu, the group is calling on religious leaders in the state to take a step back and preach tolerance to their devotees.
“There have been harmonious living in Kwara State before now and the recent crisis was clearly uncalled for. The leaders need to be circumspect in the lessons they are passing to the younger generation of leaders.
“Both religions have contributed towards the education of the mind and soul which makes the recent crisis unnecessary as it doesn’t have any bearing on the value of education for our children.
“Stakeholders in Kwara State should be cautious not to set the state on fire. The lessons of what is happening in North-East Nigeria should be enough reason for them to preach for peace in Kwara State.
“They should take conscious efforts to enthrone a just and egalitarian society where no one would be a victim of creed, colour and gender.
“The government should not shy away from its duties to the citizenry by maintaining law and order without fear or favour. The citizenry should also know that the rights of all citizenry must be paramount.
“We enjoin all to come together and work out an amicable solution to disputes standing against a peaceful coexistence.