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[OPINION]: Nigeria discomfits Saudi Arabia - Sunday Jonah

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I wonder how much Nigerians realise that Saudi Arabia under young Prince Mohammed Bin-Salman is poised to change with far-reaching consequences for Nigerians, especially; this Islamic desert kingdom homeland is fast changing such that it invited the Vatican to send a high-ranking churchman, a cardinal, over to discuss restrictions placed on churches over there and what can be surmised here is that in a short while Christianity would be legalised in Saudi Arabia and churches can then be built. 

This would surely haemorrhage Boko Haram and other purist terror groups who are pushing for a “pure Islamic Sphere” but Prince Bin-Salman is acting smart because the evangelical Christian groups in the US that support President Donald Trump have been complaining about the one-sided and unfairness of having mosques spring up here and there in the US but churches cannot be built in Saudi Arabia, yet Muslims who have been displaced by fellow Muslims in fighting from Syria, Afghanistan and other Muslim lands all want to emigrate and settle in the US and still carry out acts of terror in the US.

The logical response by President Trump to the trepidation of these Christian groups was the “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US” vow but Prince Bin-Salman is trying to lessen the impact of this situation.

Saudi Arabia is also changing so fast that this country is ready to shut out about 90,000 Nigerian pilgrims from this year’s Islamic hajj even though Nigeria would provide the fourth largest contingent of pilgrims with its attendant money-spinning prospects but young Prince Bin-Salman and his progressive cohorts are more concerned about  the hygiene habits of a group of people whose president would be chased out of his office by “rodents” and possibly other associated vermin; a rodent-infested space is a potential Lassa fever repository and the Saudis do not want Nigerian vector and carrier agents to come over and threaten other people. 

Moreover, the wretched state of hygiene of Nigeria’s pilgrims to Saudi Arabia is now a cause for concern; the question on the minds of young progressives like Prince Bin-Salman is, “How can a people with no knowledge on how to handle flush toilets continue to come over for the annual hajj?”

The horrible state of Nigeria’s public hygiene should be a cause of concern for anyone with a 21st-century mentality; why would the government still make excuses and revel in these excuses that its people are “poor” so there is nothing anyone can do about open-air defecation in the centre of Abuja and also there is nothing anyone can do about piping of raw sewage from households and mosques onto the shoulders of expressways. 

Our government takes so much satisfaction to put these wretched citizen-scums on a high pedestal for Bill Gates and other donors to see and yet would sponsor these ones to the hajj pilgrimage; therein now lies the fear of the Saudis because there is no telling what disease strains Nigerians may be carrying in them and everyone rightly fears a pandemic moreso that Lassa fever was named for a town in Borno State and tropical diseases that other countries are defeating still abound in Nigeria.

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