The executive secretary, Nasarawa State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mallam Idris Ahmad Almakura, says the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) deserves commendation and not condemnation in handling this year’s hajj operations.
The Alhaji Zilkrullah Kunle Hassan-led leadership of the hajj commission has come under heavy criticism following the hardship Nigerian pilgrims were subjected to at Masha’ier, particularly in Mina where some pilgrims were forced to sleep outside under the hot weather due to shortage of tents and bed space.
Provision of tents and feeding of pilgrims at Masha’ier are not the control of NAHCON, but the Saudi’s company, Mutawwif, vested with the responsibility of securing enough tents and feeding for over 95,000 Nigerian pilgrims failed to meet the expectations.
However, Almakura in a chat with LEADERSHIP in Makkah believed regardless of the shortage of tents and lack of Nigerian dishes in Mina or not, it was not enough to castigate NAHCON, saying, in most cases, the leadership of the commission has done well and deserve commendation instead of condemnation.
“I would like to commend the chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zilkrullah Kunle Hassan, his management team and board members for doing a wonderful job. It is not easy for one to manage 95,000 people on a trip. If you look at the way we started this year’s Hajj operation it was like we were going to have challenges in airlifting our pilgrims to the Holy Land, but along the lines everything straightened up and we had a successful operation to the holy land, so NAHCON deserve kudos,” Almakura said.
He also commended NAHCON for being efficient in the provision of medical services to the pilgrims and urged his colleagues at the state pilgrims welfare board, agencies and commission to always plan ahead in hajj operation.
“We also want to thank NAHCON for setting up a clinic in our accommodation which we are enjoying and Alhamdulillahi we don’t have any pilgrim with ailment in critical condition or severe pains. For my colleagues at the state level, the secret is just planning, you need to plan ahead . If you don’t plan ahead I don’t think you will succeed. I believe in planning because if you do, don’t think you have any problem.”