Hijab controversy: Femi Fani-Kayode blasts Firdaus, says 'Nigeria is a secular state'
A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has blasted Amasa Firdaus, a graduate of University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), who was denied ‘call to bar’ by officials of the Council of Legal Education (CLE) for failing to remove her hijab.
The incident, which took place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, on Friday, has generated intense debate online.
Firdaus said she intentionally wore the hijab in a bid to challenge the status quo, adding that there was no law preventing female Muslim lawyers from wearing hijabs.
She said: “They just call it convention that the British gave to us and we have to stick to it. I used them. They complained (during) my first (law) dinner. That is how they do on the campus. You don’t wear hijab for dinner but I did. I chose Abuja because I knew they were a little lenient.
“People have been removing their hijab over the years. What have those people who have removed it done?”
Reacting to the controversy, Mr. Fani-Kayode, wrote on Twitter, “The girl that insisted on wearing her hijab during her call to the Nigerian bar was being childish and disingenuous.
“You cannot insist on wearing religious garb during a secular ceremony and she is not the first Muslim to be called to the Nigerian bar. Nigeria is a secular state!”
Another commenter, Tobechukwu Ekwunife, on Twitter said, “Everyone must not be a lawyer. But if you decide to attend the Nigerian Law School, you are bound by its rules, if she insists on wearing the hijab, she’ll not be coerced to do otherwise but she cannot also expect to break the law that binds an organisation and claim right to religion.”