From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri
The federal government has been asked to reopen the Maiduguri International Airport in order to allow over 4,000 pilgrims presently on Muslim holy pilgrimage to be flown to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.
The airport has been closed to commercial flights for about a year now after it was attacked by insurgents has compelled over 4,000 pilgrims from both Yobe and Borno states, who should have been airlifted from the troubled town, to undergo the rigour of travelling to Dutse and Kano to join flight to Saudi Arabia.
Speaking to journalists yesterday from Saudi Arabia, the Secretary of Borno Amirul Hajj Committee, Alhaji Adamu Timta, said the closure of the Airport had brought about untold hardship to the pilgrims and increased the challenges faced by the Borno state government who has had to put in place needed strategies to airlift the pilgrims from both Kano and Dutse.
It could be recalled that in July, the Federal Government re-opened the Maiduguri International Airport for the latest decampee into the peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Ali Modu-Sheriff.
This came just 24-hours after the same government shut out the Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima from the same airport.
The Federal Government had on June 27, closed the airport for a period of three months, over what it described as security reasons.
All those intending to use the airport including pilgrims travelling to the holy land of Mecca were barred from accessing the airport. They had to travel to Kano to fly via the Kano airport.
But when former Governor Ali Modu Sherriff, who recently just decamped from the APC to the PDP decided to visit Maiduguri, the airport was opened for his private jet.