Pilgrims welfare boards urged to obey Hajj rules

Fatima Hassan, Makkah


Stakeholders involved in the 2016 hajj Operations have called on State pilgrims’ welfare boards to adhere to rules and regulations of the Saudi government and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, to avoid sanctions.

They made this know in Makkah, Saudi Arabia at the Stakeholders 2016 Hajj pre –Arafat Meeting.

The chairman National hajj commission of Nigeria, Mallam Abdullahi Muktar said efforts were put in place to ensure that all Nigerian pilgrims get their electronic wrist bands before the commencement of the hajj for their safety.

“The seized wristband by the Saudi Arabian government would soon be released as the embassy was in advance talk with the host government that will ensure the release of the wrist band to the states for eventual distribution to the Hajjis,” he said.

While commenting on the activities of this year’s hajj, mallam Abdullahi appealed to all state pilgrims welfare boards to prioritise the welfare of the pilgrims while carrying out their responsibilities.

I will like to use this opportunity to appeal to state officials to put all necessary mechanism in place to ensure fair and equitable distributions of the zamzam water to the beneficiary so that it won’t end up in the market.

The Charge d’ Affairs Nigerian Embassy, Riyadh, Ambassador Salihu Umar who urged state welfare boards to educate their officials and pilgrims on the guidelines provided by the Saudi authorities on hajj operations, commended NAHCON for its achievement on the activities of this year’s hajj

“The introduction of feeding of pilgrims in Makkah , Medina, Mina and Arafat has shown a remarkable  improvement in the welfare of pilgrims as well as the transportation system.
The idea of feeding the pilgrims and housing them in the highbrow Markaziya area in Madina has not only reduced the incidences of illness but also the stress of walking long distances to the holy mosque in Medina. I therefore call for more collaboration between the state boards and the commission to ensure that pilgrims abide strictly to Saudi regulations,”
Umar said.

On the status of the pilgrims involved in last year crane and stampede accidents, Ambassador Umar explained that the Nigerian commission in Saudi Arabia is making efforts ensure that the families of the victims are duly compensated.

On his part, the leader of the Supreme council for Islamic affairs delegation for the 2016 hajj, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar,  Estu Nupe urged all officials to carry out their responsibilities with the fear of Allah

“We thank Allah for the journey mercy that brought us here to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform one of the five pillars of Islam  and may Allah subhanahu wataala accept it as part of Ibada. I call on  Hajj commission and the participating organs that  are contributing in one way or the other to ensure  the smooth movement of our pilgrims during the hajj and please have the fear of Allah in whatever we are doing” Alhaji Abubakar appealed.

In a remark, chairman senate committee on foreign affairs, Mansurat Somunu said the National Assembly would not hesitate to penalise any state that violates the rules and regulations of the hajj operations.

On the movement of Pilgrims during the Hajj exercise the team leader of the movement  and Jamrat arrangement  Dr. Aliyu Tanko said the movement would be in five stages and called on state officials to comply to the new arrangement by the Saudi authorities.

On the Medical welfare of the pilgrims, the head of medical team Dr. Ibrahim Kana explained that a lot of innovation had been introduced to put an end to the high mortality of the Nigerian pilgrims during the exercise.

The stakeholders’ pre-Arafat meeting was a platform for all operators involved in the 2016 Hajj to review and consolidate on the implementation of plans for the Hajj exercise.