Four Pastors, 16 others have been wounded following the clash that occurred between Muslims and Christians at the Baptist Secondary School, Surulere, Ilorin on Wednesday, Victor Dada, the President of the Baptist Conference in Kwara State has said.
The clash came after the reopening of government-funded Christian schools which were previously shut down by the governor over a dispute in the use of Hijab by Muslim students.
The Street Journal had earlier reported that Gov. Abdulrazaq ordered the reopening of the 10 schools trailed by Hijab controversies.
This development, however, did not sit well with the people as they said the matter had already been brought before a competent court.
Dada alleged that peaceful Christian demonstrators were attacked by ‘Muslim fundamentalists’ who allegedly attempted to burn the church.
He also claimed that they vandalised The Apostolic Church, Eruda Ilorin, adding that the church does not have a school and neither receives funds from the government.
In a statement, Dada said:
“Christians who were on peaceful demonstration with drums and trumpets came under serious attack by ‘Muslim fundamentalists’ “who mobilised themselves and touts in large number to attack us.
“Only the gallant resistance of members and eventual security reinforcements saved the church from being burnt. More than 20 people (including four pastors) were wounded with three hospitalised.
“The fundamentalist in the presence of security officials vehemently attempted to burn the Church and when repelled threatened to burn the Church either during the day or at night. They threw ‘petrol fire’ to the Church gate and vandalised the auditorium.
“The Muslim fundamentalists went ahead to vandalise The Apostolic Church, Eruda Ilorin, a Church without any Grant Aided School.
“It is surprising that the government has become a government of the Muslim by the Muslim for the Muslim in his (sic) policies, pronouncements and attitude.”
Dada noted at no time were public schools destroyed. He said all affected schools were grant-aided.
“At no time since the grant aiding policy started in 1974 has any government designed uniform for schools. This has always been the responsibility of the proprietors, be it community or mission. It should be noted that Christians have always complied with Islamic guidelines in grant-aided Muslim school as Muslims do not allow any Christian practice in their schools.
“The Muslim and government should not take our gentleness for weakness. The government has not employed Christian Religion Knowledge in the last fifteen years but kept employing and posting Imam and Islamic religious teachers in large numbers (even in Mission Schools).
“We shall not allow Hijab in our schools. We will defend our faith and defend our inheritance. We demand that the government should return back to our schools.”