By: Waahid Kolawole
It all started like a rumor in November 2016 when Mrs. Tinuke Oloruntoyin-Folami disappeared from the screens of the Lagos Television (LTV), Ikeja.
Tinuke is the only Muslim Newscaster in LTV who uses the Muslim hijab. Her fans have been asking questions but could not get answers. It is becoming a reality that she has been excused from appearing on the screen to cast news because some people do not like her to appear in hijab. Remove the hijab or forget the news leaves no choice. So Islamophobia is set as a strong force in Lagos state under the administration of Ambode?
First, it was the prevention of the use of hijab in schools despite a subsisting court order recognizing it’s use. Now it seems to be spreading to government offices. Or how can she be expected to do away with her identity, her ‘fashion’, her choice? Where is the freedom of religion? Where is the freedom of choice? Or when did adorning the hijab become an on-screen or state offence?
It would appear to observers that Lagosians are witnessing more of the unraveling scripts of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) as inadvertently revealed by that renowned hate preacher, Pastor Bosun Emmanuel, during their campaign in favor of ex-president GEJ in the build up to the 2015 general elections. That campaign saw them promising to rid Lagos of all traces of Islam and replace with Christianity. Though one was won’t to take those calls then for granted, it is becoming glaring now that the schemes are very real and widespread.
Specifically, they threatened they must have a Christian to succeed Fashola as Lagos governor or hell will be let loose. Akinwunmi Ambode, a Christian, won the Lagos election. Many did not take much cognizance of that event. With the massive onslaught against the most visible insignia of Muslims, the hijab, it is now clear that their plans are in full force.
The very unfortunate aspect of the whole thing now is the silence of some ‘activists’. They will see nothing wrong until people are pushed to the wall and start reacting. Then, they’ll have voices to shout to the roof top. Could it then be true what people have been saying that they are all agents of Can? Since they only protect their interests and those of their allies. When the rights of Muslims are being trampled upon, they pretend not to notice and simply look the other way. Who else are we talking about if not all those fronts known as human rights activists and civil right groups?
It will interest all to know that the Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, his Commissioner for information and strategy, Steve Ayorinde, the G.M. LTV, Deji Balogun and the Director of news & current affairs in LTV, Shiju Alabi are all Christians. Are they telling us all that they don’t want to see any symbol of Islam at all?
God, and the whole world, is watching!