Debate Going on at the Jos University Teaching Hospital over the use of hijabs

– Muslim nursing students undergoing training at the facility, complained that they are being forced to remove their shoulder length hijabs,during practice.

– The hospital management, however, said complaints were made up just to tarnishing the image of the hospital, draw irrelevant attentions and creating religious disharmony.

The aggrieved students reported that they were subjected to humiliation by the head of nursing department who allegedly gave them the option of either forfeiting the programme, wearing a wig or leaving their hair unclad, saying wearing an ijab wasn’t an option. Already, the Coalition of Jos Concerned Youth Associations has waded into the matter.

In a letter by its chairman, Buhari Ibrahim Na Shehu, addressed to the Chief Medical Director of JUTH, Prof. Edmund Banwat, the group said the action of the department to the nurses is a big vabuse on the fundamental rights of Muslim nurses and students.

Na Shehu said it as a breach of the circular issued by the National Nursing Council which allows Muslim and Christian Catholic nurses to use their veils as sanctioned by their respective beliefs.

Describing their ordeal, one of the students quoted in the report said: “Those of us who initially wore head scarves were forced to take it off by the head of department. He asked us to leave so we went to him to plead and had to take off our head covering.

“He agreed to let us participate in the training but insisted we must all come to work the next day which was a public holiday to serve as punishment while some were given 10 days double shift as punishment.

The letter, signed by Bridget Omini on behalf of the hospital management, said reports that JUTH had threatened hijab-wearing nursing students with expulsion was a fabrication aimed at tarnishing the image of the hospital and inciting religious disharmony.

It stated that while wearing full length hijabs posed risks to the students and patients in terms of transmission of infections, shoulder length hijabs were allowed in the hospital.

Meanwhile, Bauchi-based Islamic cleric, Mallam Idris Abdulaziz, who was detained and later released by the Department of Security Services (DSS), has revealed that he was arrested over alleged criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The cleric, who was released on Friday, May 17, said he was told at the Bauchi DSS office that he had been critical of the president in his sermons.