JAMB Sanctions Official For Directing Muslim Candidate To Remove Hijab During Accreditation Process Before Examination

 

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has sanctioned one of its officials in Lagos for directing a female candidate to remove her hijab during its 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

The examination started on Friday, April 19, 2024.

It was learnt that the candidate was told to remove her hijab (head covering worn in public by some Muslim women) during the accreditation process before being allowed to sit the examination at Bafuto Institute, Ile-Iwe Bus Stop in Ejigbo, Lagos, generating controversy.

In a statement issued on Sunday through its spokesman, Dr Fabian Benjamin, the board condemned the action of the official.

The board said, “The attention of the Board was drawn to an unfortunate incident at the Bafuto Institute, Ile-Iwe Bus Stop, Ejigbo, Lagos, where it was reported by Muslim News of Sunday, 21st April, 2024, and other platforms, that a candidate donning hijab was asked to remove her headcover during the accreditation process before being allowed into the examination hall.

“This situation was instantly addressed by a senior official of the Board at the centre and the candidate in question allowed in after the usual checks with her hijab.

“However, since ignorance of the law is not an excuse, the officials have been appropriately sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others, who might wish to toe the same line going forward.

“It’s worthy of note that the Board, as a national institution, has no policy barring candidates from sporting the religious paraphernalia peculiar to their religious persuasions as these are the facts of everyday life in Nigeria, which everyone should have been familiar with by now.

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“Furthermore, the Board assures the general public that this issue would be properly investigated, as it had done in past incidents, to prevent a recurrence and nothing would be swept under the carpet.

“The Board is committed to the discharge of its statutory role of ensuring that suitably-qualified candidates are selected for admission into the nation’s tertiary institutions and would not allow anything or anyone to detract it from the pursuit of this noble goal.

“Meanwhile, the conduct 2024 UTME, which commenced on Friday, 19th April, 2024, had been seamless as over 1.2million candidates would have successfully taken the examination by Monday.”

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