Why We Postponed Public Hearing On Firdausa Case –Rep Dukku

‘The Nigerian Bar Association President Has Lost Credibility’ - By INIBEHE EFFIONG
Amasa Firdaus

A member of the House of Representatives Aishatu Jibril Dukku has said the lawmakers postponed the public hearing of the House Joint Committee on Justice and Judiciary on the Hijab controversy in the interest of justice.

She spoke at the “We can do it too #StrongInHijab” themed 2018 World Hijab Day (WHD) organised by the Coalition of Muslim Women in Nigeria (CNMW) at the Abuja National Mosque.

The fifth commemoration by the Nigerian Muslim women was themed “Stand for Muslim Women’s Right to Cover”.

According to her the Body of Benchers and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) had separately requested that the public hearing be postponed citing some fundamental reasons.

She said the Body of Benchers urged the lawmakers to shelf the hearing as the Amasa Firdausa case was top on their agenda hence the need to wait for a resolution of the body.

She however assured that the joint committees would uphold justice in the matter.

Speaking on the “Right to Hijab: Competing Narratives in the Light of the Qur’an, Constitutional and Human Rights Treaty Frameworks and International Comparative Practices” the Guest Lecturer and National Legal Adviser Dawah Coordinating Council of Nigeria (DCCN) Mallam AbdulWahab Oyedokun bemoaned the inability of Nigerian Muslim women to enjoy an inalienable right attached to their persons as humans, which is clearly affirmed and guaranteed in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because some elements with entrenched interests feel uncomfortable with their rights as equal citizens.

According to him, in many of institutions of higher learning, particularly in the southern parts of the country, female Muslim students are molested, harassed and in extreme cases, expelled for daring to adorn Hijab.

He said, “One of such cases is that of my colleague at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, who, in December 1989, was almost sent out of matriculation ground because of her Hijab .The Muslim Students Society (MSS) and the Muslim Community in the University resisted the assault and Alhamdulillah, today, Sister Sururah Abdulwaheed Bello is a doctorate degree holder in Computer Science and a Senior Lecturer in the same University.

“In the late eighties, a young woman, Hawwa Baba Ahmed made a debut on NTA network News. Her Hijab stood her out. Then hell was let loose as this was another of evidence of “taking Nigeria to OIC”. The noise was deafening in both print and electronic media and in public places. In one of such pieces in a national daily, a certain contributor claimed that his young daughter used to scream anytime Sister Hawwa appeared on the screen. Such was the level of cultural illiteracy and rising wave of Islamophobia in the country,” he said.