The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) has through a circular, reteirated the ban on the usage of Niqob (veil) by female Muslim students in the school, claiming that the Students agreed to obey the orders of the School in their matriculation oath.
The ban of Niqob (Veil) in the Federal University resulted into a crisis recently between the Muslim Students of the school and the School administration after the gatemen of the institution harassed an Alumnus who wore Niqob (Veil).
Muslims across Nigeria were also angered after the News of FUNAAB categorizing Niqob (Veil) as an indecent dressing in a public announcement went viral. The public shaming of one of the Islamic tenets by a Federal University generated a lot of reactions with many running into the conclusion that the Administrators of FUNAAB thinks they are running a Christian private owned University.
After several meetings between the University’s Muslim Community, the University’s Muslim Students and the University Administration headed by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Felix Kolawole Salako, he promised to address the violation of the right of freedom of religion which the muslims are being denied in the School.
However, in a circular sent out by the University’s Registrar on Thursday December 16, the University Senate made it known the University Senate had their meeting on the dress code, and according to them, no review was made, as the Dress code banning the use of Niqob (veil) stands, regardless of the Freedom of Religion mentioned in the Nigeria’s Constitution.
According to the University Senate, an earlier decision of the University Senate in 2017 banning the use of Niqob is to ensure facial identification of all students at all times within the Government owned University regardless of whatever the Nigeria’s Constitution dictates.
“Senate at its Statutory Meeting held on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 considered the issue of Dress Code at it affects students of the University. Senate re-affirmed its earlier decision on Students’ Dress Code as enshrined in the University’s Students Regulation with great emphasis on facial identification of all students at all times within the University,” the statement reads partly.
The University Senate claimed that its decision on banning the use of Niqob (veil) was not taken without prejudice to any religion, race or creed but for the peace and security. A quick research however revealed that FUNAAB is the only Federal University in the South West to ban the use of the Islamic attire.
Our corresponded contacted Muslim Students at the University of Ibadan (UI), the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and many others, all which affirmed that students of the school are using Niqob freely without any issue with the School administration.
Intel Region interviewed some of the students who showed their displeasure to the “draconian regulations” by the school, some believe that the school emphasis on the anti veiled dress code, might lead to division between Muslim Students and Christians, especially being fully aware that the Institution is Government owned and not Church owned.
“Most of those professors, they are rich, and are protected. All these decisions might lead to something else, other school allow it, schools that are bigger than FUNAAB, why make it a big deal in FUNAAB, is it that they hate us so much?,” a Muslim Student lamented.
A top source also confirmed to Intel Region that the Christian Professors and the Muslim Professors at the senate had a little fracas on the ban of the veil, sparking a sense of divide in the administration of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB).
Intel Region contacted the School Registrar for his comment, but he did not pick our call. We also contacted the Muslim Committee Chairman, he was unreachable, and had not call back as at the time of filing this report.
Intel Region also did a comprehensive research to understand if Female Students have used a Niqob (veil) to attack any school facilities, or cause any havoc. We could not find any of such incident in the history of the institution. We also did research on schools that banned usage of Niqob, only Christian Faith based schools do not accommodate any form of Islamic identification in their school.
FUNAAB remains the only Government owned institution to pronounce a ban on the use of one of the major widely accepted Islamic attires in the South West of Nigeria.