The Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA), has warned that it would not fold its hands and watch the Christian community being trashed in Kwara State. NSCEA says that Kwara is not a predominantly Muslim state as been rumoured in some quarters, but a Christian State, advising that Muslim children could be moved from missionary schools, if need be, because their attendance is optional and the Muslim complainant parents' attitude wrong. It is a privilege to be admitted and attend Christian schools and not a right. Muslim children need not change their identity of being Muslims at all, by not wearing their hijabs, all they need to do is to go and attend Muslim schools and let peace reign in Kwara, the “State of HARMONY”. 

NSCEA was reacting to the hijab saga going on in the State, wherein Kwara state government has temporarily shut Missionary schools in Ilorin pending the resolution of the ongoing Hijab controversy in the state. “The government committee comprising of representatives of the Muslim and Christian communities are now scheduled to meet to iron out the differences between the two religious communities.  "Christian youths in the state berate Government's action, demanding immediate re-opening." Adesanya-Davies says, "YES to it, we have all once lived happily in Ilorin in those schools, the government should curb the Muslims from disturbing the peace of the state and the nation, we are tired! " 

The Christian Youth forum stated, "that the issue of the use of hijab has been concluded since 2008 when it was resolved that the proprietors of all mission grant-aided schools should determine the mode of dress for their schools. They said they were, however surprised that the status quo they believed has been maintained all these while, was changed when some Muslim began to claim that they have a judgement from the state high court and the court of Appeal to enforce and mobilize their youths to the schools to harass and beat the Christian Teachers in those schools."

The ten affected and closed schools are: the Cherubim and Seraphim (C&S) College, Sabo Oke, St. Anthony College, Offa Road, ECWA School, Oja Iya, Surulere Baptist Secondary School and Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam, CAC Secondary School, Asa Dam, St. Barnabas Secondary School, Sabo Oke, St. John School, Maraba, St. Williams Secondary School, Taiwo Isale and St. James Secondary School, Maraba. All these are supposedly Christian schools built  by missionaries on Christian principles and were been administered by their churches in the past! 

Bishop Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies has earlier, reacted saying, "Where, are we coming from? Where are we going? How did we get here? Why biting the finger that fed us all! Why destroying missionaries schools in Kwara state? It's time to return the school back to the owners. It's high time the government hands off, again, the rate of student's indiscipline in secondary schools after the government took over of missionary schools is appalling.”

In fact, “This need not deteriorate, there are schools that allow wearing of hijab, why not take those Muslim children to such schools? Every school has its own dress code, why force the Christian schools to compromise? They are missionary/Christian schools. So let them be! I believe Muslim schools have their own rules and regulations and I don't think a Christian can go against their dress code. Let's try to avoid unnecessary issues which can be settled with common sense. Take your child/ward to schools that permit hijab while the government returns the schools back to the owners and everybody will be alright."

The development has generated controversy across the state, leading to the closure of ten schools by the State government. NSCEA wading into the matter advises the Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to be careful with how to manage the matter so as not to provoke the wrought of God on the State. The school are all Missionary Schools belonging to the Christians and their is no need hijacking them for the Muslims community. Leave it for the owners, tell them  it’s not compulsory for any Muslim wards. 

Speaking, the Secretary General of the NSCEA Bishop Amb Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies again said, Kwarans should “remember an Yoruba adage which says, “Bó ti wu ni, ni a ti n se imole ẹni”. He that plays the piper, dictates the tunes. And as such, allow the Christian schools to be run as the owners want them. It’s optional for Muslims to attend, since there are several Muslim schools in the State, or aren’t there so many? Furthermore, to keep the record straight, may I add for the purpose of records that in Kwara State, Christians are more than Muslims as the Missionary Schools saga now projects. Or aren’t there enough Muslim schools in “an acclaimed predominantly ‘Muslim State’” for Muslim children to attend? 

History would remind us that Kwara is not an Islamic state. May we recall the history of Kwara State and "How Northern Region lost their Kingdoms to the Islamic Fulani Emirates. This is why history must be taught in our schools. Those who neglect History are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past. ”The story is told of how King Yunfa, the Hausa Sarki in Gobir (now called Sokoto) hosted a Muslim Fulani immigrant called Usman Dan Fodio and his group in February 1804, as a result of this and since 1808, the whole of the northern region lost its kingdoms and was replaced by Muslim Fulani emirate."

"King Yunfa is said to have been killed in 1808 and the Fulani warrior (Usman Dan Fodio) established the Sokoto caliphate, making himself Sultan.". Gradually, other Hausa kingdoms were pillaged and taken over by the Muslim Fulani emirs including all the kingdoms ruled by Queen Amina of Zazzau. . . Little wonder, the Emirate throne of Zaria today is ruled by Muslim Fulani families which Usman Dan Fodio placed on the throne as a reward to his Soldiers.

"The ethnic groups in the core north were the first victims of Muslim Fulani imperialism, a venture that occurred because the people were given access to grazing land as a result of the hospitality of the hosts. They however failed to overrun the Bornu and Jukun kingdoms, so the Shehu of Bornu and Aku Uka remain paramount till today!”

Then, the Afonja dynasty compromised by allowing a Fulani warrior known as Janta Alimi to settle in Ilorin, the Fulani guerrillas killed Afonja in 1824; and Ilorin, a Yoruba town under the Oyo empire, fell into Muslim Fulani hands, becoming an emirate under Sokoto caliphate! Even the attempts of the O'odua People' s Congress (OPC) to revert to status quo ante and crown an Onilorin of Ilorin became an exercise in futility to-date.

The Yoruba warriors got wise and defeated the Fulani jihadists in Ogbomosho in 1840, if this didn't happen, there would most likely have been Fulani " emirs" as rulers in Oyo Alaafin, Ibadan, Owo, Oshogbo, Ede, Ado, and Igede Ekiti today! If the Bini Kingdom did not fight and repel the jihadists, they would have penetrated the Edo/Delta region beyond the present- day Edo North Senatorial District which gave in and allowed the jihadists to overrun & Islamize them.

If Yuna didn' t accommodate Fodio and his warlike immigrants from Futatoro, Hausa Sarkis would be ruling today in the north! And in Kwara, if Afonja didn' t conspire with Alimi, a Yoruba kingdom would not have been ruled by Alimi' s offspring till today! The sad case of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. "Lowe, l' owe la nlu ilu agidigbo...", she alludes.

Again, she quoted, “Much as we know, Islam came to Yorubaland not by means of the Jihad of Usman Dan Fodio but through the means of informal contacts between Yoruba traders and their Nupe neighbours, who through further contacts with Hausa traders were made, long before the arrival of the Fulani on Nigeria’s historical scene. The commercial contacts between the Yoruba who supplied kola-nuts to Hausaland and the latter who supplied horses to the former was without doubt the one possible means through which some Yoruba traders came into contact with Islam. Islam in Yorubaland therefore does not owe its origin to the tradition of Muslim conquest in Nigeria through the jihad of Shehu Usman Dan Fodio, but through informal means.”

“Dating back to the periods of Old Oyo kingdom and Hausa States, these contacts with Islam might have started with the buying of Hausa slaves by the Old Oyo officials, as well as from the long distance Yoruba traders. There is also the possibility that war captives from occasional wars between the Old kingdom of Oyo and her Islamized neighbours might equally have boosted the knowledge of the religion of Islam among the Yoruba. Above all, the intermingling of the two peoples under peace time situations leading to formal and informal migrations on both sides equally presented a strong factor. 

“Islam as we well know is a religion that flows through the veins of Arab culture and tradition. Unlike the situation among the Hausa, Nupe and Kanuri, Islam entered Yoruba land both as a weaker culture and inferior religion to Yoruba Culture and traditional religious complex. The new religion found the strong cultural and religious walls of the indigenous Yoruba people too strong for easy penetration as it did in other areas.”

As such, “200 years ago, the Aare Kakanfo of the ancient Oyo Empire and the self-proclaimed Oba of Ilorin, Aare Afonja, rebelled against the Alaafin of Oyo and entered into a military alliance with a Fulani advisor, sorcerer and mercenary by the name of Alimi. Predictably Alimi betrayed him and he ended up being tortured, dethroned and murdered. Not only did Alimi and his Fulani warriors kill him but they also murdered all his sons in the most cruel and barbaric fashion. Alimi and his family took the throne for themselves and consequently the Oyo Empire, and by extension the Oduduwa nation, lost Ilorin to the Fulani and to the sons of Usman Dan Fodio.  Ever since that then a Fulani Emir, from Alimi's  family and lineage, armed with a flag and staff of authority from the Sultan of Sokoto, has ruled Ilorin.”

NSCEA said Christians would not surrender their Missionary schools either to the government or the Muslims all in the name of their use of hijab. Christian girls also tie their scarfs and gele, wear hats and caps, but that wouldn’t be part of School uniforms, if the schools do not so recommend. For instance, Princess Funmilayo from NSCEA said, “Low cut was compulsory in the Secondary School I had attended in Kwara state in the 70s, for purposes of neatness, cleanliness, airiness and ventilation, uniformity with no class distinction and consciousness, and because it isn’t time wasting and money consuming for students, etc. Our principal principal said, and that was it! What has now changed that school authorities can’t take decisions. 

Records of Christianity in Ilorin reveal that Christians are over 50% of the population. “The city has a history of modern day ministers and a host of ancient and modern churches with moderate to large congregations, such as the Catholic Church, Anglican, Methodist, Holy order of Cherubim and Seraphim churches, Celestial Church of Christ, The Holy Trinity Gospel Church International, Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), United Missionary Church of Africa (UMCA), Emmanuel Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, Zion Baptist church Common Wealth of Zion Assembly, Seventh-day Adventist and several Pentecostal Churches as Living Fath Churches and Rhema Chapel, etc. All Catholic and protestant populations of the Christian faith. Most Christian churches in the state started schools and introduced innovative ideas that were readily adopted by the Muslim community in the past.”

However now, Muslims demand that all Christian morning prayers should be cancelled and it has been cancelled in all Christian schools by Kwara State government. They are still demanding to build mosques in Christian schools and now hijabs is being worn in Christian schools which it is an abomination! Christian sisters cannot walk on Fridays on the street without covering their hair at Oja- Oba Market and environ or else, they will be thoroughly beaten and forced to buy clothes to cover their heads right there and then at the market. If they succeed in Kwara, the next agenda is for Christians not to be able to live in the towns again. It is time for every Christian to talk about it all over Kwara state and the country before it gets out of hand. That is Kwara state for you! Jesus is Lord! 

Adesanya-Davies speaking at NSCEA said, "return the Schools back to the owners, the Churches and please end the Hijab controversy, attending Missionary Schools is optional. There are government own schools that are not private Christian schools. There are also private Muslim Schools where Christians don’t have any say. "

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