Oyo State Government and the Management of LAUTECH have commenced an investigation into a case involving Prof. Ajibade Lawal, the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing who reportedly ordered that a niqaab-wearing student remove her veil, in public.
The Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Religious Affairs, Alhajj Abdrasheed Abdulazeez, who confirmed the incident told newsmen that he had spoken with relevant stakeholders including the Ag. Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Liasu and the Chief Imam of the University, to ensure peace prevails.
He said, “I spoke with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Liasu and he confirmed with a promise that the matter will be addressed. I also spoke with the Imam and he assured that the matter will be resolved this morning. But there is the need to hear from the alleged professor as well for the sake of a fair hearing. The Imam of LAUTECH is instrumental to the approval of Nursing in the university”.
The governor’s aide further assured that the Makinde-led government will not relent on its drive to ensure religious harmony in the state.
This is coming after some aggrieved protesters who are students of the institution, reportedly took to the streets of the campus, burning used tyres and locking schools gates on Thursday, demanding that the Dean tender an unreserved apology for his “affront”.
Narrating how the incident occurred, a student (anonymous) said Prof. Lawal while citing an example of how not to dress as a nursing student or as a practitioner, spotted the lady and had her remove her veil in public.
Earlier, Professor Lawal had warned while addressing the students of his faculty during an interactive session of the LAUTECH Open and Distance Learning Programme on Wednesday, November 17, that the approved dressing for the nursing students does not include wearing of hijab or niqaab (veil).
The meeting was called by the LAUTECH Open and Distance Learning Centre (LODLC) of the University to interact with the students ahead of their forthcoming examinations.
Another source disclosed that, the Dean in a bid to give examples of inappropriate dressing for the profession, had called out some ladies wearing hijab (without veil) and singled them out as non-conformists, and then later instructed them to abide by the dressing code.
Prof. Lawal had emphasised he was not one that would compromise on bastardising the nursing profession through allowing unapproved dressing, despite being a core Muslim himself.
He informed further that as a practicing nurse, hijab must be worn shoulder length and must be tucked in at the neck.
Justifying his position, he had explained that people must be able to identify that a “nurse is a nurse” but that if someone is in purdah no one would be able to recognise she is a nurse.
The Dean also summoned a young man who grew a long beard to the front and disproved of his appearance, saying, “When you are in Rome, you do like Romans, give Caesar what is Caesar’s.
“I don’t play with anything nursing, if you want to bastardise nursing l won’t allow it, l will fight it. Do you know l was accused of bastardising nursing because of the LODLC programme. I beg you to abide by the prescription. Don’t malign anybody,” he said.
Professor Lawal was blunt while affirming that all what he said was within the purview of the ethics of the profession and could be quoted anywhere even before the council.
Meanwhile, the management of the institution has also reacted to the development saying an investigation panel has been convened over the matter and therefore implores students particularly, to maintain peace as they go about their duties on the unit premises, to allow the investigation into the matter to go on.