The Christian Association of Nigeria has accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of attempting to Islamise Osun State.
Chairman, Osun CAN, Superior Evangelist Abraham Aladeseye, and the Secretary, Rev Father Gbenga Ajayi, stated this at a news conference in Osogbo on Monday.
It added that the government might have changed the name of Osun State from ‘State of the Living Spring’ to ‘State of the Virtuous,’ because “Jesus Christ is referred to as the living spring.”
CAN insisted that there had been increasing restiveness in the state occasioned by the insistence of some state government-backed Islamic fundamentalists, who had been calling for the wearing of hijab in all public schools – including Christian public schools.
Hijab is a type of cloth used by Muslim women to cover their faces.
Also, the Christian group faulted the declaration of a public holiday by the Aregbesola administration, stressing that “not even in Sokoto, the seat of the caliphate, is Hijra declared a public holiday.”
The group said, “Bearing in mind the poor economic status of our state, one simply wonders why the governor chose to demolish the existing buildings in public schools, rather than renovate them as was being done by Ondo State Government.
“If this is not religious extremism, what else can it be, considering the fact that in the 40-year history of the National Youth Service Corps, hijab has not been incorporated into the NYSC uniform?”
But the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the state, Semiu Okanlawon, said the issues raised by CAN “are those that had been resolved long before now and in which all Christian leaders at the various meetings with the governor expressed clear understanding of the positions of the government.