By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”MUSLIMS from the South-East and South-South geo-political zones have protested alleged marginalization against them and hijacking of the list of government-sponsored Muslims for Hajj by their northern counterparts.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Warri, Secretary-General of Muslims in the two zones, Muhammed Mustapha Wakama, stated that available statistics indicated that 90 percent of the beneficiaries were from the North.
Though they commended the governors from the two zones for their financial support, the South-East and South-South Muslims pleaded with them to include more Muslims who are natives of their respective zones as beneficiaries of government sponsorship in future.
â€œThere is no gainsaying the fact that the reason most of this category of Muslims have been unable to perform pilgrimages to the Holy land of Mecca is because of their inability to muster the needed funds,â€ he said, adding that Muslims from the North would greatly assist the process of Islam if they could offer the indigenous Muslims who are largely first generation believers their places in the government-sponsored list.
â€œWe also call on the Sultan of Sokoto, leader of the Muslim faithfuls in Nigeria, emirs and all well-meaning Muslims of this nation that Muslims of this region are mainly first generation and need support, assistance and encouragement, the blessing of Hajj from the people rather than uprising,â€ he asserted.
He explained that they were not against the sponsorship of Muslims from the Northern part of the country, but noted that such act should not be done at the detriment of others.
Adding that â€œMuslim is for all tribes and nationsâ€
The Southern Muslims, however, thanked the governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim. Shekarau, for his immense support.