Religion in it's truest purpose, was meant to sanitize mankind and bring humanity to the fore of clean conscience. Religion is perhaps the only thing that differentiate people in a more distinctive sense than any other factor.
You could see a Yoruba man and an Hausa man in suit and won't be able to tell their difference unless they speak.
But religious wise, their identity could easily be revealed by a more distinct appearance in the two individual as one would most likely have beards and the other not having one.
The Muslim fellow will most probably have an indented dark spot on his fore head due to prostration and the Christian fellow will have none. So, socially, religion is the major thing that can be used to classify people especially in Africa.
Religion doesn't just set a difference among us, it also differentiate us from many other cultures around the world. It is perhaps what informs our decision to accept or to not accept some ideologies of the west.
It is however, disheartening to note that what was meant to sanitize mankind and set humanity straight is perhaps the major factor that have divided us, a division that is so deep-rooted in our society and have contributed to the rot and misfortunes bedeviling the nation.
The regional distribution of the major religions along the major two major zones in Nigeria: North and South have only made matters worst between indegenes of the country.
However, there are some states in Nigeria that enjoy an equal share of the two major religion among it's indegenes. One of such state is Kwara, Where both Muslims and christians abound in equal proportion.
This condition would of course raise tensions easily as both faithfuls of the religion contend for equal bragging right to own and dominate their territory while also exhibiting their religious beliefs and value.
In a recent developments, the Christian group of the state had maintained that their schools are not government owned by government and will not allow the wearing of Hijabs by Muslim students in their school.
They argued and vehemently resolved that their schools are grant-aided by donations and cannot be regulated by an external body, in this case, the Kwara state Government who have ruled that willing Muslim students in these schools, can use hijab on their dresses if they so wish to.
The simultaneous response by the Christian groups to not heed the call and directive by the government, led the government to close down the schools for weeks.
In a recent turn of events, the government has divided to open the schools citing the need and provision that every citizen has the right to practice and exhibit his or her religious value.
This, However, didn't go down well with the christians who feel their schools are been turned into Islamic schools by the directive.
They gathered at the gates of the affected schools on Monday to prevent the reopening. In the same vein, the Muslim parents and groups were also present to ensure the reopening of the schools.
Having been ineffective in resolving the issue, many are however looking to see who could handle the situation properly. As such, the federal government is now been seen by many as having the capacity to entrench peace among the warring parties.
But even they, cannot easily resolved this issue and these are my reasons;
1. Just like the governor, the president is also a muslim
The major reason that the Christian group refused the intervention of the state government in the first instance, was because the state governor is a Muslim and could not have been able to dispense justice fairly between faithfuls of christians and his religion; Islam.
This belief nonetheless pushed them to approach the supreme Court for judgement and resolution instead of calling on any government. So, the president being a Muslim also, will have his disposition grossly scrutinized and rejected if it doesn't favour the Christian groups.
2. The issue of contention here, is a purely sentimental one
The position, president Buhari would most probably take is a predictable one. The president will most probably toe the path of the constitution which guarantees that every citizen of the land have equal right as to ethno-religious inclination and practice.
Citing the fact that the ownership of the school is still up in contest, the president would assume the school doesn't belong to the Christians but to the government, as such give judgement that allows the Muslims to do as they will regarding the wearing of hijab.
This position however, been fair in its entirety would be seen by the Christians as a lopsided judgement as whatever favours the Muslims in this regard, would be seen as an Islamic state agenda and would vehemently be rejected and resented.
3. The responsibility of settling such civil issue is outside the exclusive list of the central government.
One of the reason why the president is yet to act up till this end, is because the governor is solely In charge of all civil issues in his or her state. If the governor fails to act, the judiciary would come in.
This was seen in the crises that recently rocked a community in Gombe state where the christians and Muslims contested the position of the traditional seat hotly.
So if the president does try to come in, the Christian association would see this as the president trying to put it's energy where it's not needed.
It is very clear that we are not ready for progress in this country. If we still pay unnecessary attention to things that don't hold much weight in the growth and development of Nigeria such as religious dresses, then we are in for a long ride, in the voice of musicians, we are on a long thing.