Abubakar Sa’ad, sultan of Sokoto, has said the Nigerian constitution allows the use of hijab.
He said its use is not restricted to Muslim women, but also to Christians and Judaists.
The sultan said the hijab is a sign of decency and mode of dressing for any woman who “wants to preserve her chastity in public”.
This is coming against the backdrop of ongoing controversies trailing the denial of a female Muslim law graduate, Amasa Firdaus, from being called to the bar over her use of the hijab.
The sultan made his position known on Saturday at the fifth national convention of Muslim Public Affairs Center (MPAC).
He was represented by Sanni Abubakar Lugga, Waziri of Katsina.
“Why will a legal school refuse our sister’s induction into the judiciary simply because she was wearing hijab?” he asked.
“Is the Law School saying they are above National Judicial Council, NJC, they are above the Nigerian constitution, and they are above these three senior courts?
“His Eminence wonders why hijab has now become a controversial issue. Hijab simply means decent dressing by females. So why should decent dressing be a problem? The hijab is not just an Arabic word. In English it means decent dressing.
“His Eminence has asked Nigerians to reflect and see that this is not only an Islamic mode of dressing but a Christian mode of dressing.
“It is also a Judaism mode of dressing and it is a dressing for every decent woman. It is a dressing for any woman who wants to preserve her chastity in public.”
Citing top female Muslim members of the bar and bench who have used hijab in their official capacities, he said, “justice Alooma, the former CJN, justice Bukalchuwa and oher senior justices in Nigeria wear their hijab and then wear the wig on top of it.
“The NJC which is the highest body in the judiciary has not said ‘No, they should stop’ which means the Nigerian constitution allows the hijab.”