Visits states’ tents in Muna
As airlifting begins
By Ishola Balogun and Kazeem Ategbeshe, Saudi Arabia
Chairman National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Barrister Abdullah Muhammad Mukhtar has congratulated, Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia for successfully completing the Hajj rites, commending Lagos state for the facilities provided for their pilgrims.
Barrister Abdullah Muhammad Mukhtar was represented by a representative of Supreme Counci for Islamic Affairs on the Board of the Commission, Professor Abubakar Mustafa on a special visit to pilgrims in their tents in Muna. The Chairman expressed happiness about pilgrims conduct during their stay in Muna and Arafat, hoping they continue in that manner until the end of the entire exercise.
Barrister Abdullah said the visit was to assess their situation, listen to their complaints and recommendations.
The Commission expressed satisfaction on the facilities provided by the Lagos State Government to its 2,332 pilgrims in Mina, Saudi Arabia.
NAHCON officials at Lagos tent were led by Alhaji Abdullahi Saleh, Commissioner for Operation stated that the provision of quality accommodation; indigenous food and the general welfare of pilgrims were incomparable and commendable.
Saleh congratulated the Akinwunmi Ambode led government and the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board for provision of standard facilities during the hajj exercise, urging pilgrims to pray for the leadership of the Board.
In the same vein, Hajiya Aisha Muhammad said, “we have always been proud of Lagos State in the way they have assisted their pilgrims in terms of food, accommodation and their welfare and of course their regular standard enlightenment programmes.
“I want to appeal to pilgrims not to spend their money on gift to take back home, so that they don’t get stranded. Again be mindful of the weight of the luggage you can carry on the flight, bearing in mind that the big bag is 32kg while the small bag is 8kg. Anything above that will not be tolerated. This directive is neither from the Commission nor the Board. It is from the Saudi Authority. Don’t allow anybody to deceive you that they can wave it. We on our part are happy with Lagos State and on behalf of the Commission, we commend your efforts,” she said.
At the Kaduna State tents, the State pilgrims Welfare Board overseer, Imam Husayn Sulayman Tsoho Ikara, who commended and appreciated the NAHCON’s aisit outlined certain problems which include but not limited to shortage of facilities and poor cooling systems in tents in Muna and Arafat, a complaint at all tents visited.
Kano and Gombe
The NAHCON team also visited Kano, and Gombe tents where they sought pilgrims opinion on curtailing the number of Nigerian pilgrims as not to overstretch Nigeria’s allocated facilities at Mashaa’ir areas as is now obtained in the areas.
It was generally advised that consultations with all stakeholders be made for an acceptable decision to all. At all tents, prayers were offered for sound health and quick recovery for the President Buhari, well being, development and progress of the nation.