Firdaus Prevention Of Call To Bar, Violation Of Human Right – Osun Muslim Community

By Nofisat Adeoye

The Osun State Muslim Community has described the action of the Nigerian Law School against a female muslim, Firdaus Amasa, who was not called to the bar because she was wearing an hijab as a violation of the right to freedom of religion as enshrined in the Section 38 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This is even as the community demanded an apology from the Nigeria’s Council of Legal Education to Firduas and the entire Muslims in general.

The Acting President of the body, Alhaji Mustafa Olawuyi while briefing journalists after an emergency meeting of the OSMC at its Secretariat in Osogbo, said the manner Firdaus was treated by the Body of Benchers during the call to bar at the International Conference Centre was a huge embarrassment to the generality of Muslims in the country.

Olawuyi said Firdaus did not breach any law by refusing to take off her hijab and challenged the Council of Legal Education to point out the section of the law of the land that was contravened by the innocent Muslim sister.

According to Olawuyi “Having satisfied necessary requirements to practice law in Nigeria by attending a university and the law school, it is traumatic that Firdaus Amasa Abdussalam was denied the call to bar just because she is an obedient Muslim lady covering her head with hijab as directed by the Almighty Allah.

“Just imagine, Firdaus Amasa Abdussalam was already wearing her neat gown and the wig on top of her short hijab, ready for the ceremony but she was not allowed to enter the International Conference Centre only because she fulfilled an obligation that is part of her religion.

“We consider the action of the Nigerian Law School as a violation of the right of this lady to freedom of religion as enshrined in the Section 38 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

“We therefore demand apology from the Nigerian Law School over this needless embarrassment to Firdaus Amasa Abdussalam and all Muslims in Nigeria and worldwide.”

The OSMC also demanded that Firdaus Amasa Abdussalam must be called to the bar in the next ceremony. Olawuyi warned that “whoever that attempts to hinder the lady from being called to the bar subsequently would incur the wrath of Allah here in this world and in the hereafter.

“Muslims in Nigeria will not keep our hands akimbo as long as injustice and persecution of Islam and Muslims remain unchecked”, he said.

The OSMC lauded the President of Nigerian Bar Association A.B. Mahmoud for his prompt reaction on the matter which has been trending on the social media with the hashtag #JusticeforFirdaus being used.

The NBA President who posted the photo of his daughter, Zubaida wearing hijab when she was called to the New York bar had described the controversy as needless and promised that the association would look into the matter.

Aregbesola Has Been Fair To All Religions – Osun Muslim Community

The First Vice President, Osun Muslim Community, Alhaji Mustapha Olawuyi spoke with Abdullahi Omotayo on his assessment of Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration.

Osdf: What is your assessment of Governor Aregbesola administration in the past seven years?

Olawuyi: I can see that the administration has contributed a lot to the development of the state. Leadership is not a joke but it is a call to duty and once the call is made, to a certain extent a quality leader is suppose to be elected.

Prior to his administration, many lives have been lost as a result of insecurity and political thuggery. Most of the banks in Osun have been robbed, especially in Ikirun and other areas, but when he got into power, protection of lives and property was one area he considered. In the area of security, he has really tried and I implore the governor not to relent.

Before Aregbe’s administration, Osun state’s position in WAEC was not encouraging, it was always between 30th to 36thposition. But this time around, it has changed and it will continue, even though there are still works to do in the education sector. Aregbe’s administration introduced the school feeding programmes before other states adopted it so as to encourage students. At the elementary, middle and senior level of education in state of Osun, there is a noticeable change to the style of dressing compared to the way it was then. Some parents are not bothered to spend on their children’s education because of Aregbe’s contribution but government cannot do all without the support of parents.

Aside from that, let’s look at the infrastructure of the new and rehabilitated schools and other projects, quality is one thing that I noticed and is similar to the quality saw overseas. Those building can last for up to 25 years if we cultivate the proper maintenance and sustainability culture of the project. One of the problem we have is policy change from time to time. When we have a change of government, the new government brings in new policy which might destroy the previous one. When Aregbe introduced the tablet of knowledge (Opon Imo) but with the Nigerian factor, the students find their way around the tablet and make it accessible to their entertainment needs. I am a chairman of PTA in a secondary school in Ikirun and we worked so much to get tablets for our students. The Governor has done his job but it’s the parents’ duty to ensure that these tablets meet the desired usefulness. Had it been the parents paid to get the tablet for their children, maybe they would have cared more about the tab. But I am imploring the governor to reintroduce the tablet of knowledge and make it limited for learning programmes only. Also students should be sanctioned for damaging the tablet.

Also in the area of road, there has been major transformation. My last trip to Ibadan, when I got to Gbongan area, if you notice the Gbongan junction, millions of naira have been invested into that location. As an engineer, I know the quality job that was done there. I hope Aregbe’s successor will take over from where he stops without politicising.

However, when you build structure, you also build human. Civil servants are not happy, level 1-7 are getting 100% of their salary regularly, level 8-12 are getting 75% while others from level 13 and above are getting 50% as agreed with the Labour. But the pensioners can’t endure this because they are old and feeble to work. If you get to an aged person’s table, the number of drugs used per day is up to start a pharmacy store. I implore the governor to kindly work in this area.

The youth empowerment programme, OYES, which employed 20,000 youths within the state, up till this moment, still exists and so obvious that without being a political person, one or two youths from each family must have benefitted from this programme. Some of these youths have been sent abroad for further training in various fields like ICT, agriculture, etc with the expectation of giving back to their society.

Osdf: What can you say about Governor Aregbe’s fairness to all in religions?

Olawuyi: When Aregbe got into power, after winning in court, we had our Hijrah programme. Because of the nature of the programme, we didn’t want to disturb the government for sponsorship, we held the programme within our capacity. The following year, Aregbe came by himself without invitation. Ever since, he has always contributed towards this annual celebration.

The same way he is doing for the Muslims, so he is for the Christians. So, he has been fair to all religion.

Osdf: What’s your message to the people?

Olawuyi: I have said most of it, something good should be recognised as good. Let us appreciate what is good. We shouldn’t be looking for flaws in government. No one is perfect. Let’s all support the government, let’s ensure peace during the local government and governorship election. Also, we should all pay tax for the development of the state and we should ensure harmony in practicing our various religions. When we talk of Boko Haram, Islam doesn’t have anything to do with that. In Uganda for instance, there is law resisting army that has been against the government for over 30 years with the purpose of establishing Jesus’ rule on earth. No one referred to them as terrorist Christian fighters.