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Hajj 2015: Emir submits report to El-Rufai

Hajj 2015: Emir submits report to El-Rufai
… Says, airliners subjected Kaduna pilgrims to hardship

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Kaduna State Amirul Hajj and Emir of Birnin Gwari, Alhaji Zubair Jibril Maigwari ll yesterday submitted report of the 2015 Hajj exercise to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, saying, Kaduna pilgrims suffered untold hardship in the hands of airliners.

He said, airliners subjected the pilgrims to staying longer than necessary in the holy land and even spent more than 24 hours at the Jeddah Airport during their return journey to Nigeria.

The Amirul Hajj also disclosed that, the report recommended that State Government compel the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to refund N5,000 development levies charged every Kaduna State pilgrims.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after presenting the report, The Emir stated that, the state pilgrims suffered untold hardship in the hands of airline carriers during the exercise.

“We told the state government that in 2015, we really suffered untold hardship during the inbound journey to Nigeria in the hand of the airline carriers because majority of our pilgrims spent over 24 hours at Jeddah Airport.

“To allow for effective control of flight arrangements, the board should be given free hand to choose it own Air carriers.

“In the recommendation, we also told the state government that since pilgrims Camp at Mando is owned by the state government, there is no justification for National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to continue collecting N5,000 development levies from pilgrims for upkeep.

“We recommended a refund by NAHCON of the amount collected for this year’s Hajj operation as well as for previous years. Similarly, the feeding arrangement which is entirely being shouldered by NAHCON was with many challenges.

“We therefore recommend that the state should takeover negotiation for feeding arrangements of its pilgrims.” He said.

Emir of Birnin Gwari equally disclosed that the Kaduna State Hajj team has for the first time returned the sum of over $50,000 to the state government after the completion of the hajj exercise.

According to him, “Government gave us total support during 2015 hajj exercise and because of the work carried out with the fear of Allah and proper supervision we are able to return over $50,000 to the state government. It was the first time such a thing happened.

“We also recommend that emphasis should be placed in selecting mostly medical personnel, tour guides and pilgrims officers to accompany pilgrims to hajj because we observed that pilgrims are being abandoned as soon as officials reached the holy land.

“We also recommend a total overhaul and restructuring of the pilgrims welfare Board for efficient service delivery. The Board should be manned by competent personnel as their duties are not only spiritual but diplomatic as well,” he said.

On the pilgrims that died during the Crane collapse tragedy that occured in the holy land the Amirul Hajj said “The State Board in liason with NAHCON should ensure the processing and claim of benefits in respect of victims from relevant authorities.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai represented by his Deputy, Barnabas Bala Bantex expressed appreciation to the state Amirul Hajj team for a job well done, assuring them of his government readiness to give the report the attention its deserves.

He also congratulated them for winning an international award during the exercise in Saudi Arabia, saying the 2015 Hajj team really brought honour to the state.

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