The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier-General Johnson Olawumi, has upheld the body’s ban on long hijabs at its orientation camps.The ban had been contested by the leader of a Muslim group, LMYiD, Luqman Hassan who claimed the ban was against their rights as Nigerians.
Hassan had said in a meeting with the DG: “We are here to discuss with you about the incident that happened recently in various camps across the country. We have a guiding principle which is based on the Holy Q’uran. We are all Nigerians and the principle which guides us is the constitution and the African Charter on Human rights.”
“Members of the NYSC are Nigerians who have contributed to the development of this country; female corps members deserve protection by the NYSC. We don’t believe that a female corps member putting on hijab has done any wrong against the Act establishing the NYSC. So they deserve the respect of the NYSC. We have travelled far and wide and visited different camps. Why are the rights of female corps members being infringed upon. We are here to register our displeasure.”
In his response, the DG revealed that decision was based on security reasons, and would not be reversed.“Under my leadership, the NYSC will accord respect to every corps member, irrespective of tribe and religion. The incident in Benue State was caused by the use of long hijab. The security situation in the country is tough.
There is the danger of somebody using hijab for other reasons. “There have been cases where young girls put on hijab and eventually turn to suicide bombers. Boko Haram members know how to get at whoever they want as target. That is why we frown at the wearing of long hijab.
Please call on all your Muslim youths to be patient and adhere to it, just for a short period during the camp. We frown at long hijab because of the security implication.”