The International School Ibadan (ISI) Muslim Parents Forum has called on well meaning Nigerians to call Mrs Phebean Olowe, the Principal of ISI to order as she was out to precipitate crisis in the school with her high handedness and religious fanatism taken too far.
Muslim Parents Forum in a statement signed by its Chairman, Abdur-Rahman Balogun said “Following our tactical withdrawal from the ISI Hijab matter from the State High Court in Ibadan on June 25, 2019, the Principal through her agents had embarked on harrasment intimidation and molestation of some of the Muslim girls who took the school to court to enforce their fundamental human rights to wear hijab in the school premises”.
The Principal reportedly told the girls at the school assembly on Monday that no one should adorn Hijab on school uniform within and OUTSIDE the school premises. We found the directive of the Principal awkward and absurd especially as it relates to wearing hijab OUTSIDE the school premises on the school uniform.
The Principal, however, carried out her threat when on Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday July 4, some Muslim girls who normally, remove their hijab at the entrance of the school gate, were barred from coming to the school some 100 metres from the main gate of the school.
A parent, Dr Idris Badaru, narrated his experience as follows:
“I took my children to school and parked under the shade beside Idia Hall at about 8.00 am and noticed a small crowd of students gathered about 80 metres or thereabout away from the school gate. My children promptly informed me that the Accounts section was checking payment clearance before allowing them in.
I decided to wait a bit and to my surprise, after checking my daughter’s clearance, the security man and Mr. Odewale of the Accounts section were issuing some instructions, which my daughter was not happy with. I therefore moved closer and learnt that they wanted my daughter to remove her hijab before walking down towards the gate and she refused. I felt enraged as any reasonable man would when his daughter’s honour is violated. Moreover, that space belongs to University of Ibadan, a Federal institution”.
This was corroborated by two other parents who said that the Security personnel of UI under the leadership of the Chief Security officer, carried out the directives of the Principal and were physically assaulting any muslim girls adorning hijab outside the gate of the school.
As if that was not enough, we were reliably informed that the Principal, Mrs. Olowe went to the affected girl’s class to embarrass and scolded her in the presence of her colleagues.
We also learnt that the School had hurrriedly put up a Student Disciplinary Panel to try all the girls with the hope of suspending them and later expel them from the school.
All efforts by the Muslim Parents Forum representatives to see the Principal or the Vice Principal proved abortive as the gun-wielding security operatives at the entrance said they were under instruction from above not to allow any parents in.
The Muslim Parents forum therefore put the Principal on notice that should anything untowards happen to any of the girls due to the psychological and emotional harrasment, intimidation or any act of terror on them for wearing hijab outside the school, they stated that all available legal and legitimate means shall be used to protect their children.