Farmers constituted more than 90 per cent of the 1,260 intending pilgrims from Taraba that have so far deposited fare for the 2017 pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, an official of the state pilgrims Board has said.
In interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jalingo on Friday, Alhaji Umar Leme, the Executive Secretary of the Board, disclosed that the farmers had already deposited N912 million while awaiting the official pronouncement on the hajj fare for this year.
Leme observed that the large turn-out of farmers for the exercise might not be unconnected with the bumper harvest recorded by most of them across the state in the last cropping season.
Speaking on arrangements being made for a hitch-free pilgrimage, Leme said accommodation had been secured for pilgrims at a strategic location within Mecca close to areas that rites would be performed.
He said 1, 457 seats were allocated to Taraba by the National Hajj Commission, but that the state government was making effort to secure additional seats.
He said many pilgrims were not very conversant with hajj rites, adding that the board intended engaging more trainers for the 2017 pilgrimage.
Leme called on the National Hajj Commission to enhance the process of securing travelling documents to reduce delays experienced in previous years.
The Secretary also called on those who made deposits, to complete their payment.
The immediate past Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, …