Parents of Muslim students at the International School, University of Ibadan, under the umbrella of International School Ibadan (ISI) Muslim Parents Forum have called on well-meaning Nigerians to call Principal of the school, Mrs. Phebean Olowe, to order in order to avert crisis in the school.
The Muslim parents noted that the need to call Olowe to order was necessary so as to avoid further harassment, molestation and inhuman treatments of female Muslim students over the use of Hijab outside the school.
Our correspondent recalls that the use of Hijab by female Muslim students in the school has since November 2018 been generating a lot of controversies which made parents of some Muslim students to jointly sue the school, its principal, University of Ibadan and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the school who also doubled as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the university.
However, an Oyo State High Court under the leadership of Justice Ladiran Akintola, on 26th June 2019struck out the suit filed by the parents on the basis that the petitioners are not supposed to file the case jointly.
It was gathered that Olowe and other staff of the school had since then been molesting, victimising and persecuting the Muslim studentswhose parents sue the institution through their parents.
On Thursday, a parent, Dr. Idris Olabode Badiruraised an alarm over what he termed as molestation and inhuman treatment of his daughter, Ikhlas Badiru, by the Principal, Mrs. Phebean Olowe, the School Accountant identified as Mr. Odewale and other staff of the school.
Chairman of ISI Muslim Parents Forum, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun in a statement made available to reporters on Saturday in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital noted that it is necessary for all and sundry to prevail because Mrs. Olowe “is out to precipitate crisis in the school with her high handedness and religious fanatism taken too far.”
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 harassment 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. 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 hurriedly 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.
“We are therefore putting the Principal on notice that should anything untoward happen to any of our girls due to the psychological and emotional harassment, intimidation or any act of terror on them for wearing Hijab outside the school, we shall use all available legal and legitimate means to protect our children.
However, all efforts made to get reactions of the school principal to speak on the matter proved abortive. Several other calls put through to her telephone line were not answered and an SMS sent to the principal asking her to state her position has not been replied as at the time of filing this report.