The Minister of Interior, Aba Moro, on Sunday clarified that government granted visa to the Islamic preacher, Abu Philips, because he was not in the country’s blacklist.
Moro made the clarification to newsmen at the Ecumenical Centre, Abuja, shortly after the Centenary thanksgiving service attended by President Goodluck Jonathan.
He reacted to online report which alleged that government granted visa to a controversial Islamic preacher.
The online report described Philips as “an extremist and Islamic terror preacher, who lives in Qatar and was banned by governments in UK, U.S., Australia, Germany, Kenya and other countries across the world’’.
Moro said: “let me say this that every country has its own requirement for the grant of visa and in Nigeria’s situation, especially against the backdrop of our security challenges, we also have our requirement for granting of visas.
“We have our own blacklist too of people that because of our security situation should not be allowed into the country.
“And this preacher that you talk about for instance did not fall within the list of people black listed for their activities that are inimical to internal security.
“If his preaching and the content of what he has submitted for the granting of visa that will not undermine the security of the country, then certainly we will grant him the visa.
“That is the purpose we have achieved here.’’
Moro added that Nigeria as a sovereign nation should not be guided by the dictates of other countries and should be able to take its decision at every point in time.
“Let me also say here that we should not set some double standards.
“When the Nigerian government signed the Anti-Gay Law and the West was complaining, we stated that Nigeria nation is a sovereign country that should be allowed to determine its destiny and practices.
“And so, we will not use now the refusal of visa by Germany, UK as a basis for refusing anybody visa here,’’ he said.