The Presidency yesterday denied reports that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had banned the wearing of hijab, Muslim women’s symbol of modest dressing.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, made the clarification in a statement on the matter following the reactions that trailed the comment attributed to Mr. Buhari during his maiden media chat on Wednesday.
The president had during the chat, said his administration might consider banning the wearing of hijab if female suicide bombings continue.
Stressing that the speculations are unfounded, the presidential aide said that the Buhari administration would always respect the rights of Muslims to protect their modesty and allow religious freedom as it affects everyone.
While admitting that the hijab is being abused by terrorists to carry out suicide attacks on innocent people, which violates the teachings of Islam, he said that President Buhari would not take any decision on the issue without due consultation with all the stakeholders.
The statement said: “Everything will be done to balance national security requirements with the rights and obligations of citizens under their religions as protected by the constitution”.
According to the statement, the increasing abuse of the hijab by terrorists to perpetrate mass murder and other atrocities is a reality but government would address the security challenge in consultations with Muslim leaders with a view to finding a workable solution.