Governor Makinde listening to the Protesting pilgrims at Govt House. Photo: HAJJ REPORTERS
By -Kunle Bakare
Hundreds of intending pilgrims from Oyo State on Wednesday stormed the state governor’s office in Ibadan to protest over the delay in air lifting them to Saudi Arabia after the Governor Engr. Seyi Makinde had bade them goodbye days ago.
Hajj Reporters gathered that some of the pilgrims who were stranded had concluded their travelling processes and awaits their movement to Lagos before proceeding to the Holy land.
Some of them, who spoke to Hajj Reporters under the condition of Anonymity, disclosed that the process was hijacked by politicians who manipulated the list of intending pilgrims schedule to travel and replace the names of genuine traveler with those of their close friends.
This halted the departure of those who had been screened for the journey.
The governor, who was addressing 151 intending pilgrims who came to lodge complaints about the 2022 Hajj operations in his office, stated that the delay in airlifting them was as a result of the quota given to the State by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted him as saying that he would look into the constraints facing them and provide solutions.
He added that information reaching him is that the NAHCON has promised to reinstate the initial 150 slots it suspended for the state, stating that once that is done; his administration would ensure that they are airlifted as soon as possible.
He said: “Sincerely speaking, I have noted all your complaints. Yesternight, I had a meeting with the committee to understand how we got into this problem. Just like you said, fair is fair and I told them that the additional quota of 150 was not supposed to be mixed with the existing people on the list. So, I agree totally with you.
“I got information from one of my aides few minutes back that the Hajj Commission is trying to reinstate the 150 for us. The mistake that happened was that no one should have been removed from the 629 included in the first batch”.
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