Why I avoided speaking on controversies over use of hijab – Sultan

Sultan Abubakar

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, on Sunday reacted to comments that he has refused to talk on the controversies surrounding the use hijab by female Muslim students, particularly at the International School, University of Ibadan, being the Chancellor of the university.

The Sultan spoke during the Fourth General Assembly of the Muslim Ummah of South-West Nigeria (MUSWEN) held at the Conference Hall of the University of Ibadan central mosque said he has been silently working to address the hijab controversies.

Abubakar, who is the President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), urged Muslims to hold on to the unity of the Ummah.

“People should remember that Muslims are law-abiding people and they cannot take up arms, because there must be peace, stability and development of the country.

“We have been doing what is expected of us on the issue of hijab privately and silently as a leader. We don’t have to go to the media to say publicly what we have been doing.

“We cannot make public statement since the issue is in the court, to avoid contempt of court,” the Sultan said.

He called on the Muslims, especially in the South-West states having challenges on the hijab issue, to be patient, law-abiding and follow the rules of law, adding that it was unfortunate that this was happening.

Abubakar called on Muslims organisations agitating on the use of hijab to continue, adding that victory would surely come at the end of the day.

“The constitution guarantees us the freedom of religion, and nobody can stop us from doing what is expected of us as Muslims.

“What is happening to us as Muslims is a challenge from Allah, because we have been sleeping for too long and we must wake up from our slumber.

“Muslims are divided and we must be united; we should not allow politicians to take us for a ride, because every issue has been politicised in the country,” he said.

said Muslims, not only in Nigeria but throughout the world, are facing serious challenges and have bigger task ahead of them.

The sultan called on wealthy Muslims to fund education and create employment, for peace to reign in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of MUSWEN, Prof. Dawud Noibi, called on Muslims to come out strongly against attempts by some external forces to divide them along political, ethnic and regional lines.

Noibi called on them to work harder to stop what he called sad developments, in the interest of Islam and the peace of the nation.

The executive secretary, whose tenure end on Sunday after spending 11 years, appealed to the peace-loving people of Nigeria, especially Muslims and Christians, not to succumb to agents of division and remain at peace with one another, in spite of their religion and ethnic differences.

While delivering his lecture entitled “Muslim Unity and Contemporary Political Challenges in Nigeria”, Prof. Muhib Opeloye called on Muslims in the parliament to always unite, not only on matters concerning Islam, but also on issues of national interest, irrespective of their political affiliation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was attended by prominent Muslims and Islamic organisations in the South-West.