Unidentified soldiers allegedly harassed a Muslim woman in Lagos by forcefully removing her veil.
The Whistle reports that the ugly incident happened on Friday, January 8, at Meran Area of Lagos.
According to an eyewitness, identified as Adetutu, the woman was going peacefully when three soldiers stopped her and began to harass.
The witness noted that it took the intervention of passersby and sympathisers for the Muslim woman to get her veil back.
“I arrived at the Meiran Bus Station to board a bus when I saw three armed military men stop a Muslim woman who was putting on ta black attire and a face veil. One of them confronted her asking why she used the face veil.
“The woman was surprised and helpless. Almost immediately he (one of the soldiers) turned up her face veil to reveal her face.
“The woman who felt ashamed only looked and could do nothing because the soldiers were heavily armed.
“After one of the soldiers revealed her face, another soldier forcefully removed the veil from her saying ‘This thing is not allowed in our country. You can use it in your house but not here’.
“He (the soldier) took the veil and was about leaving with it. All the woman could do was to plead with him to at least release the veil to her.
“After harassing her in such a way that called attention of passersby, he (the soldier) returned the veil to her and she quietly left almost shedding tears,” he said.
Apart from the removal of veil in Lagos, two images had been earlier seen in Ibadan. One of the images was allegedly signed at University College Hospital, Ibadan, which read: “Wearing of long hijab is prohibited in government establishment for security reasons”.
These incidents happened few weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari said during his media chat that if bombings continue in Nigeria, the hijab might be banned.
However, on January 1, Buhari through his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, made a statement denying insinuations that his administration had plans to ban Hijab.
“Everything will be done to balance national security requirements with the rights and obligations of citizens under their religions as protected by the constitution,” he said.
Meanwhile Adam Hamzah, Amir of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, UCH branch, recated to the pasting of a message to prohibit Hijab at the hospital in Ibadan.
According to him, it is another reflection of “open hatred of Islam”.
“However, I want to urge our sisters to entertain no fear in showcasing the beauty of Islam through their Hijab. After all, they realised the essence of their existence unlike those who walk about in nudity.
“It is therefore imperative not to allow this issue derail us from the golden path. I am glad to inform you that MSSN at the branch,state,zonal and national levels is currently working assiduously to put a stop to this oppression.
“Several notable Muslim personalities have been duly informed about the issue. This is with a view to ensuring that our SON sisters enjoy not only using Hijab in the hostel but also on the wards. I therefore charge us to join hands in making this a reality,” he said.
Luqman Amoo, the president of the Abuja Muslim Forum also stressed that banning the hijab would be counter-productive since there is other loose clothing worn by women and men alike that is used to perpetuate evil and are yet to be banned.