The House of Representatives has mandated the Committee on Pilgrims Affairs (when constituted) to conduct a detailed investigation into the several anomalies that emanated from the recently concluded 2023 Hajj excercise.
This was sequel to the adoption of a motion by a member from Oyo state, Mr Kinsley Stanley at plenary.
The lawmaker stated that Nigerian Pilgrims were subjected to untold hardships during the 2023 Hajj exercise from the inability of some airlines (such as Arik) to lift pilgrims due to lack of aircraft as well as inadequate tent accommodation at Mina and Arafat.
Other problems according to him includes substandard tents with unhealthy living conditions and environment, lack of proper medical attention to pilgrims in cases of emergency and lack of proper transportation logistics for Nigerian pilgrims.
“Nigerians being made to miss their flights due to stringent bottlenecks regarding withholding of their International Passports; inability to secure airport slots for Nigerian airline operators for lifting of Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia back to Nigeria and many others;
“Also aware that over twenty five thousand (25,000) Nigerian pilgrims (including those who paid for Tent A VIP Class) through Private Tour Operators were stranded at Mina due to inadequate tents and oversubscription leaving Nigerian pilgrims sleeping on the roads, under bridges and nearby mosques. There are cases of several public officials (such as present and former Governors, Senators and Hon. Members) who had no tent and were made to sleep in unhealthy places and conditions.”
He added that some tour operators perpetrated the worst form of unprofessionalism by failing to provide services promised to pilgrims in terms of accommodation, tent, feeding or transportation.
Mr Stanley said there was also the absence of emergency medical services for sick patients in distress at Mina camp as many distressed patients could not be attended to due to restrictions of Ambulance access to the camp.
He expressed concern that the National Hajj Commission, NAHCON, the agency mandated to cater for the Pilgrim Affairs has not been proactive in ameliorating the plight of Nigerians during the 2023 Hajj.
Adopting the motion, the House also mandated the Committee on Legislative Compliance (when constituted) to ensure implementation.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has been advised to discountenance…