From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos
Following the permit given to the former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff to land at the Maiduguri International Airport, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has lamented that the Muslims in Nigeria were being cheated and denied right to religion as citizens of the country.
The lamentation was made yesterday by the Secretary-General of JNI, Sheik Khalid Aliyu, on the Hausa Service of the BBC, monitored in Jos, who noted that recently Borno state Muslim pilgrims who intended to witness this year lesser Haj in Saudi Arabia were refused admission to take off from Meduguri International Airport by the Federal Government, but politics had paved way for an individual.
It would be recalled that, some weeks back, the Maiduguri International Airport was shut down by the security agents restoring peace in the state, but re-opened on Monday for Sheriff, when he took a flight from Abuja to Maiduguri to denounce his membership from the opposition All progressive Congress (APC), and prior to that, a good number of Muslim pilgrims from the state were denied taking their flights from the state, which according to the security agents, was for security reasons.
Sheikh Khalid, while expressing sadness on the matter, said, “We Muslims in Nigeria are not always allowed to perform our religion. We are being cheated and we are equally Nigerians like others. We are not happy.
“If because of politics one person would be allowed to land at the airport, why not others? Are they not Nigerians like him? There is no justice in this. If aplane was allowed to land is then same should be allowed to take off. We are calling on the government that we don’t want to be pushed to the wall. Please, we should be free to exercise our religion, “he added.