Wednesday, July 6, 2016 8:17 pm
The National Muslims prayer ground along Nnamdi Azikwe Airport Road, Abuja which used to be one vast land, allowing the rich and the poor to freely mingle during prayers has been demarcated.
Worshipers who came for Eid-el-Fitr prayers on Wednesday
discovered that a portion of the prayer ground have been barricaded with iron bars and reserved for VIPs.
The VIPs’ section came with tents to keep the important personalities away from the elements as well as fans to keep them cool for the few minutes the prayers will last.
Complementing the well woven iron bars are well armed soldiers and officials of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps at alert to ensure that there was no straying from the commoners’ side of the praying ground.
The barricade, it was gathered, was done to prevent access to the VIPs by ‘unruly individuals’ who usually take advantage of the relaxed security before, during and after prayers to commit all kinds of ‘atrocities,’ including begging for alms.
As observed on Wednesday, the barricade indeed succeeded in barring the ‘commoners’ from the more affluent worshipers if that was indeed the purpose of the segregation.
The idea to barricade a portion of the prayer ground for VIPs was probably borne out the security breach last year when President Muhammadu Buhari has to be smuggled out of the prayer ground.
The worshipers created a security nightmare as tbecame ncontrollable in their bid to touch the President after prayers.
The President remarked later that he could have been stabbed during the rowdiness that resulted from the mob action.
Perhaps, this was why the President chose to pray at a safer Mogadishu Cantonment prayer ground this morning. But will the President return to pray at the prayer ground with the new and obviously more secure, VIPs section?
Photo story: ‘Segregation’ At Abuja National Muslims Prayer Ground, by FEMI IPAYE