, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 16- A cross section of Kenyans caught up in Friday\’s clash between Muslim protestors and the police want the government to end the protracted tussle over Jamaican cleric Abdullah Al-Faisal once and for all.
Those interviewed argued that the continued presence of the radical preacher in the country was causing unnecessary tension, which led to the riot.
"He is just a preacher, we can deport him to his country and we continue with our lives," one person said.
The government has on two separate occasions, attempted to have the cleric deported with little success.
In the first attempt the Tanzanian government refused to take back Al Faisal who initially entered Kenya from the same country.
In the second attempt, the Jamaican cleric was transported to Nigeria but was returned back to Kenya after an airline in Lagos declined to take him to Gambia from where he was expected to fly to Jamaica.
He returned to Kenya and was placed in custody at the industrial area remand prison provoking outrage from the Muslim community through the Muslim for Human rights Commission which demanded his unconditional release.
Immigrations Minister Otieno Kajwang has however insisted that Al-Faisal would remain in prison until the government gets alternative means to fly him out of the country.
However Kenyans do not feel the government is according due seriousness to the issue, which they argue was placing the security of citizens at risk.
"If the government was doing its job in the first place they would not have allowed him to enter into the country. People were demonstrating because they wanted his release so that he could go back to Jamaica."
Government spokesperson Dr Alfred Mutua however issued a statement underscoring the government\’s commitment to have the preacher deported over alleged links to terrorist activities.
"The government of Kenya is aware Mr Abdullah Al-Faisal has been deported from several countries for alleged recruitment, inspiration and advocating of suicide bombers," Dr Mutua said.
"Mr Al-Feisal is a threat to this country because of his alleged tendencies to recruit suicide bombers," he added.