The Minister of Nigeria’ Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Mohammaed Musa Bello has directed that intending Pilgrims register early for the 2016 Hajj Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
He gave the directive in Abuja, after receiving the 2015 Hajj report presented by the FCT’s Amirul Hajj and Director FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Idris Musa.
Malam Bello said the move was to help fast-track preparations for this year’s Pilgrimage.
He further said the new system would be designed in such a way that when allocation for the year was exhausted, other registered pilgrims would be given priority attention in the subsequent year.
According to the Minister, “intending pilgrims for the 2016 Hajj Operations from the Federal Capital Territory would secure a seat based on first come, first served basis”.
Bello stressed that the directive was necessary to ensure fair play and justice in the entire exercise; adding that the demand for the Hajj seats was always higher than what was available.
“You know the seats will not be enough for the teeming pilgrims from the FCT. You have to set up a system whereby registration is done on first come, first served basis with no favouritism and to ensure that this is publicly known by everybody” he emphasized.
The Minister advised the Board to conduct the 2016 registration exercise based on “fair play, justice and the fear of God”; said that every intending pilgrim should be assessed objectively and given a fair chance.
He then commended the Board for the successful completion of the 2015 Hajj operation and sympathised with the families of those pilgrims that passed away during the last exercise.
Malam Bello promised that all the reports and recommendations on the 2015 Hajj exercise would be thoroughly looked at so that challenges faced would be addressed.
Earlier, the FCT Amirul-Hajj and the Sarkin Jiwa, Idris Musa said a credible committee should be constituted to work with the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board to carry out the Pre-Hajj activities of acquiring accommodation in Saudi Arabia for intending pilgrims.
Also speaking, the Director, FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Malam Bashir Muhammad, said that all arrangements had been concluded for the commencement of the 2016 Hajj exercise with sales of registration forms to commence next month.