Some Muslim groups have expressed disappointed over what they described as last minute postponement of the public hearing on the Hijab crisis involving a University of Ilorin Law graduate, Firdaus Amasa and Body of Benchers and Nigerian Law School by Joint Committee on Justice and Judiciary of the House of Representatives on Monday, a day to the event.
The coalition under the auspices of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) after its meeting held in Abuja while reviewing the Hijab controversy wondered why “the Joint Committee did not deem it fit to contact stakeholders who had submitted memoranda to the Committee prior to the public announcement of the postponement as published in the Punch newspaper of Monday, 5th February, 2018. Of particular importance is Sister Firdausa Amasa – the victim and subject of the controversy – who had earlier received an invitation letter from the Joint Committee”.
The groups in a communique signed by Ustaz Isa Christian Okonkwo, Director of Administration, NSCIA a copy of which was sent to DAILY POST Tuesday evening, said that the inconveniences caused by the sudden change of schedule for the stakeholders from across Nigeria are unimaginable.
The coalition after the meeting attended by representatives of NSCIA, FOMWAN, MSSN, MUSWEN, MULAN, MMPN, MURIC, MICA, Women in Da‘wah, Coalition of Muslim Women Organisations, Abuja Muslim Forum, FCT League of Imams, Association of Muslim Professionals, Justice for Fidaus Advocacy Group, Harakatul Islaami, Ilorin, Kwara Muslim Youths, The Criterion, Al-Mu’minaat, Women ‘Ulamaa’ of Zamfara, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Organisation of Tadhamunul Muslimeen, I-World-Connect Media, Pious Muslim Women Organisation and Islamic Family Foundation, rejected “in its totality the reason advanced by the Joint Committee for the postponement.”
“The excuse, therefore, rubbishes the deadline earlier given by the Joint Committee and proves that some stakeholders are above its rules and are, therefore, more important than others. Hence they are identified as “critical stakeholders”. We believe we are all equal stakeholders because equality before the law is one of the critical elements of the rule of law”.
They argued that “Muslims are not unaware of the efforts by some stakeholders to frustrate the cause of justice and, therefore, are determined not to rest until their right is recognised and guaranteed.
“The Joint Committee, as representatives of the people, should, in the spirit of equity, fairness and justice, ensure that the public hearing holds as soon as possible while stakeholders are duly informed”.
The coalition however “calls on all Muslims and other stakeholders to remain calm and await further directives on the matter”.