The Nigerian police force has incorporated what they termed a “mini hijab” into the official uniform of its female officers.
The flyer, which showed the prototype images of female officers in the ‘mini Hijab’ on police uniform surfaced online on Thursday, with many Muslims showing their excitements.
In recent times, the use of hijab on uniforms has become a subject of controversies in Nigeria.
Despite the constitutional provision and court verdicts in its favour, Muslim ladies in Hijab have been subjected to all form assaults and discrimination by overzealous administrators, many of whom have not been prosecuted.
Muslim netizens posted the flyer, which had image of an officer using small stud earrings, on their timelines with the caption, GOOD NEWS: Nigerian Police Force Approves Hijab for Muslim Female officers, with no source or further information.
Muslim News findings also revealed that though the information on the flyer showed that it was approved by Inspector General of Police (IGP), there is no such update on the official handles of the Nigerian Police Force.
But sources in the force who are not authorised to speak with the media confirmed the news to our Correspondent, saying that it was an internal memo forwarded to all their offices across the Nation.
A copy of the internal memo dated Thursday, March 3, 2022, already being circulated on social media said in part, “Be informed that the inspector general of police has approved the use of black head scarf, mini hijab, small stud earrings, designated female shoes, black maternity gown, among others.
The statement also added that any of the approved items, including the mini hijab are optional and should be worn above the collar of the police uniform, as depicted in the flyer.
Yes it’s true – PPRO
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), DSP Josephine Adeh also confirmed the story while speaking on phone with Muslim News, Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic Newspaper.
“Yes, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, has approved the mini hijab and the use of small stud earrings. Those willing to use it have started using it already. It’s not false, it’s true and it has taken effect across all the States of the Federation,” DSP Adeh clarifies.
While asked the reason behind the approval, the PPRO declined further comment, saying; “I can’t answer that. The only thing I can confirm to you is that it has been approved.”
How MURIC championed ‘Hijab on police uniform’ campaign
The call for the use of hijab on the Nigerian police and other para-military uniforms came to fore in July, 2019 following reports of discrimination against a Muslim officer, inspector Echaria Halimat, allegedly by her senior colleagues.
A photograph of Inspector Halimah in police uniform with her hijab tucked under her police beret went viral on social media, with pundits describing her as the first Muslim officer to adorn Hijab on uniform
Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, who led the campaign, saluted Inspector Halimah, a former Christian from South Eastern region of Nigeria, appealed to the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Police and all para-military forces in the country to allow their female Muslim staffers to use hijab.
Director of MURIC, Prof Lakin Akintola, said in a statement issued in 2019 that, many Muslim women in the armed forces and the police are suffering in silence. Halimah the police woman is not the only one who craves to use hijab. There are many others. They cannot speak out for fear of the kind of disciplinary action being faced by Halimah.
“But the result is lack of job satisfaction, loss of focus and a desertification of spiritual well-being. They are just being human and every homo sapien is body, soul and spirit”, he said.
The Human rights organisation in October 2019 sponsored an advertorial in some selected Nigerian newspapers, with the title, position papers on the need to allow Hijab in the army, police and para-military
Prof Akintola cited many countries of the world including South Africa that have endorsed the use of Hijab on police, army and other para-military uniforms for any willing female officers, appealing to the Nigerian government to follow their step.
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