The presidency in Nigeria clarified on Friday that it had not yet banned hijab, the Muslim women’s dressing symbol of modesty, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration on Wednesday that the dressing, being used by Boko Haram bombers to kill, may be banned.
The Presidency said in a statement that it had to make the clarification following insinuations and rumours that the Buhari administration had already banned Hijab.
During Buhari’s media chat on Wednesday, he said he would consider banning the disguising dressing if bombers continue to take advantage of it. But the ban was not yet in place.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, who released the statement, said the speculations are unfounded, and that the Buhari administration would always respect the rights of Muslims to protect their modesty and allow religious freedom as it affects everyone.
Malam Shehu, while admitting that the Hijab is being abused by terrorists to carry out suicide attacks on innocent people, which violates the teachings of Islam, said the President would not take any decision on the issue without due consultation with all the stakeholders.
“Everything will be done to balance national security requirements with the rights and obligations of citizens under their religions as protected by the constitution,” the statement said.
According to him, the increasing abuse of the Hijab by terrorists to perpetrate criminal mass murder and other atrocities is a reality, and that the government would address the security challenge in consultations with Muslim leaders with a view to finding a workable solution.
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