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Deport Zakir Naik over inciting comments, Fani-Kayode tells FG

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Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, has expressed dissatisfaction with the visit of Zakir Naik, a radical Islamic preacher, to Nigeria.

Naik was invited by the Sultan of Sokoto to give a lecture in the state.

Arriving in Nigeria, Naik shared photos on social media on Monday, referring to the Nigerian Air Force and Immigration officers as the ‘Muslim Airforce’ and ‘Muslim Immigration’.

He also referred to the Sultan of Sokoto as ‘the head of state’

Not satisfied with Naik’s choice of words, Fani-Kayode took to his X (Twitter) account on Tuesday to voice his concerns, saying it was evident that the preacher “manifested ignorance” with his labelling.

He stated, “I do not know who this strange Pakistani/Arab-looking hybrid & camel jockey known as Zakir Naik (@drzakiranaik) is or what hole he crawled out of but someone tells him that the Nigerian Airforce & Nigerian Immigration Service are NOT Muslim ones & to say otherwise is a function of his manifest ignorance.

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“Nigeria is a multi-religious, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, secular and plural nation & therein lies our strength & pride.

“Calling our Airforce & Immigration Service Muslim ones is a serious provocation & deep insult to our Christian Airforce & Immigration officers, to the 120 million-strong Christian community in our country & to the collective sensibilities of the Nigerian people & it is dangerous & divisive.”

Describing Naik’s presence in Nigeria as having a “bad stench,” Fani-Kayode questioned how he was able to obtain a visa despite being banned from entering the United States, Europe, and other civilized parts of the world.

He cited reports from India Today, which accused Naik of spreading hatred, funding terror, and money laundering.

Fani-Kayode called on the Nigerian government to deport Naik and prevent his return.

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He warned against allowing Naik to spread his divisive rhetoric among Nigerians.

“The man is a plague & an affliction & I have no doubt that he posted his provocative words on X with malicious intent. He came to our country to sow seeds of dissention & destruction, he has a wicked & evil agenda, he is not working alone & he is attempting to infiltrate & contaminate our people. I thank God that he will fail because the Nigerian people cannot be fooled by his morbid delusions, satanic distortions, demonic manipulations & sinister interpretations. I call on the Federal Government to deport him & never allow him to come back again. We do not want him to plant his venomous rhetoric & toxic disposition into the spirit & soul of our nation or the hearts & minds of our people. We must strive to avoid interaction with religious extremists & fanatics & malevolent lost souls like this misguided, hate-filled foreign warmonger. We are ONE in this nation & we will not allow this strange-looking hybrid to divide us.”

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Highlighting the need to avoid religious extremists and fanatics, he said the unity of the nation was non-negotiable.

Naik, who was born and raised in India, founded the Islamic Research Foundation, which is now banned in India.

In 2016, he became a fugitive, sought by Indian authorities for inciting religious hate. Seeking asylum in Malaysia, he faced restrictions after making derogatory remarks during a lecture.

Peace TV, a broadcast station that airs Naik’s teachings, has been banned in India, Bangladesh, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Despite the growing backlash, Naik’s lectures in Nigeria are scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

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