Femi Fani-Kayode, former Aviation Minister, on Monday, December 18, berated the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III for defending the wearing of hijab by Muslim women.
The raging controversy all started when one Amasa Firdaus, a female Muslim law graduate, was recently denied being called to the bar by the Nigeria Law School for wearing a hijab.
At the call to bar ceremony which took place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Firdaus, a graduate of the University of Ilorin, passed all the necessary examinations and fulfilled all requirements, but was not called to the bar because she wore a hijab under her wig.
Reacting to the issue, the monarch had over the weekend faulted the decision of the Nigerian Law School to deny the young lady call to bar for refusing to remove her head cover.
The Sultan had decried the controversy, stating that Hijab simply meant decent dressing for Muslim women and was part and parcel of Islam.
Speaking in Lagos on Saturday during the fifth National Convention of Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) he stressed that Muslims were peace- loving, therefore, should be allowed to practise their religion as stipulated by Allah and as contained in the traditions of Prophet Mohammad.
However, the former Minister said if the monarch can champion the fight against child marriage and pedophilia with the same zeal he is fighting the cause for hijab, the North will be a better place.
In a series of tweets via his social media handle, Fani-Kayode insisted that wearing of hijab is not a sign of women liberation.
He maintained that the wearing of hijab is a “Pavlovian reaction and a conditioned response.”
Fani-Kayode wrote: “If the Sultan of Sokoto would champion the fight against child marriage and pedophilia in the same way and with the same zeal that he is fighting for and championing the cause of those who wish to wear the hijab, the north would be a much better and safer place for little girls.
“Wearing the hijab is not evidence of women’s liberation and neither is it borne out of free will.
“It is a Pavlovian reaction and a conditioned response. It is also an eloquent testimony and ugly reminder of the suffering, servitude, repression, bondage and humiliation of women.”
Meanwhile, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, a civil rights activist and daughter of Nigerian politician and philanthropist Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, has commended Amasa Firdaus over the on-going hijab controversy.