A situation is trending all over social media in Nigeria. The case of a student at the law school who wasn’t called to the bar because of inappropriate wear. The entire scenario, as is typical with all social media controversies, has now degenerated into religious spat. What is the issue? A lady, Abdulsalaam Firdausa Amasa wore a hijab to her ceremony. Two people on social media have said she knew what she was getting into as the law school had provided instructions on appropriate dressing for the occasion. If that is so, one has to wonder why there is so much anger over the entire issue. The irony is obviously lost on her ‘supporters’ that a future instrument of law enforcement is wilfully ignoring instructions on the basis of self. In a country where even the federal government which has a Senior Advocate Of Nigeria, SAN as its vice president and a SAN as Attorney-General of the Federation, has disregarded injunctions from the courts of justice, one would think people would find it quite commendable that an institution would uphold its standards. Some Nigerians, who complain a lot about arbitrary enforcement of laws and how some individuals perceive themselves to be above the law, have wondered why the law body is making so much fuss about a clothing item. I disagree with such opinion. But this is the kind of mentality that results in a future SAN disregarding law courts. How come Muslims since the inception of the ceremony have adhered to the demands? People saying it’s just an item of clothing are missing the point completely. How much longer before this precedence results in more disorderly dressing as was the case with pre-university students in Osun state? I am a Christian with limited knowledge of Islam. However, the fact that other Muslims have been attending the ceremony without much of a fuss probably implies that this is permissible. I also think this boils down to how Nigerians perceive the state. Given that Nigerians are very polarized when the religious question comes up and also tend to give precedence to emotion over reason, I think this is one situation where the secular state can begin to claim its rightful place. The sad aspect of the entire religious show that goes on is that religious expressions are often just a show with an absence of substance. Every major political office holder claims to adhere to one of the Abrahamic faiths yet there is so much corruption, poor governance and nepotism on display at all levels. If the lady in question feels that this is a cause worth pursuing, then she should apply the principle of sacrifice enforced in all holy books. This implies that she may not be called to the bar at the appropriate time for her while she pursues legal options to reverse the matter. That was the theme of a podcast by Malcolm Gladwell. “Generous Orthodoxy” is the story of Chester Wenger, a 98-year-old Mennonite minister who decided to leave his church, and officiated the marriage of his gay son. It’s a story that offers a master class in the art of dissent. In conclusion, I support the law body in holding firm to its standard and avoiding the future pitfall of moral relativism. The country as a secular entity should begin claiming back its supremacy over all faiths and begin in the words of the holy book to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Majekodunmi Omololuoye B. Chevening Alumnus MB.BS (Lag), M.Sc. PH for Dev (LSHTM) https://www.linkedin.com/in/omololuoye/ PICTURE CREDIT: – https://twitter.com/Yes_New_Friend LAW STUDENTS AND OBEDIENCE https://madukovich.wordpress.com/2017/12/16/law-students-and-obedience/

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