Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has blamed the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, (NAHCON) for the inability of about 700 intending pilgrims from the state to travel for this year’s Hajj
NAHCON had said that no fewer than 1,550 pilgrims from Kano, Bauchi and Plateau states as well as those from Tour Operators missed this year’s Hajj because they could not be airlifted to the Holy Land.
However, speaking when he received a delegation of NAHCON at Kano tent in Minna, Makkah, on Sunday, Mr Ganduje, represented by the Speaker, Kano State House of Assembly, Hamisu Chidari, expressed displeasure over the unfortunate incident.
Mr Chidari told the delegation that Azman Air that was assigned to airlift Kano pilgrims could not perform its task, lamenting that all the pleas by the Executive Secretary, Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Abba Muhammad Dambatta, was turned down by the commission.
He noted that the apology tendered by NAHCON to the state government and affected intending pilgrims was not enough.
He said what is needed is to take “action by putting proactive measures in place to avoid reoccurrence.”
“From the onset, the Executive Secretary of the state’s Pilgrims Welfare Board, Abba Muhammad Dambatta had complained that Azman Air, an airline assigned to airlift the state’s pilgrims could not perform the task.
“You were just saying that Kano state has the highest number of intending pilgrims, so why would you not make good arrangements for the state?
“The state government had foresaw problems and wrote complaints severally on the need to change the air carrier that would transport Kano pilgrims from Azman Air to Max Air but all the pleas went to deaf ears of NAHCON.
“Although the problem occurred by the will of Allah, but there is negligence on the part of NAHCON”.
He said the entire state will was not happy over the unfortunate incident.
“We also console the affected intending pilgrims for missing the Hajj exercise. This is heart wrenching indeed. The affected intending pilgrims had spent about 5 days at Hajj camp, but at the end missed the holy trip”.
In his remarks, the Commissioner in charge of Finance and Administration of NAHCON, Nura Hussaini Yakasai, who led the delegation, again, apologized to the government and people of Kano State, as well as the affected intending pilgrims for the Commission ‘s failure to airlift them to Saudi Arabia.
“Everybody knows about the number of Kano intending pilgrims but we were unable to airlift them all. We deeply regret this and promised not to have similar problems in next year’s Hajj operation.
“After the Hajj, we shall refund their money and those that want to roll over to next year, could do so. We all believe that Hajj is the call of Allah. Those that missed it, it means they were not called by Allah. But, we confess our offence and we shall correct our mistakes next year,” he assured.
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