Murtala Adewale, Kano.
Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board yesterday reacted to alleged diversion of pilgrims’ remittance of Hadaya (animal sacrifice) during hajj.
Addressing a press conference in the city of Madinah, the executive secretary of the board, Alhaji Mohammad Abba Danbatta exonerated the board from the purported conduct. He insisted Kano pilgrims welfare board has neither demanded nor collected any money from its pilgrims in respect of animal sacrifice (Hadaya).
Although Alhaji Abba affirmed that Jaiz bank was the only institution certified by National hajj Commission and Saudi authority to collect the hadaya remittal, he however declared the board can not serve as agent of Jaiz and should not be held responsible for any remittance.
Alhaji Abbas’s reaction sequel to an alleged dubious character of some states board who mostly collect pilgrims money through an agent but would refused to domicile same with the authorized institution.
The Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a civil society organization that monitor hajj and umrah activities in Nigeria has accused some states Muslim pilgrims welfare boards of hiding detail of pilgrim’s Hadaya thereby prompting suspicious tendencies.
Statement jointly signed by IHR’s coordinator Ibrahim Muhammed and publicity secretary Abubakar Mahmoud frown at hajj managers of Kano, Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger, FCT, and Yobe for ignoring its Freedom of Information (FOI), request on the number of intending pilgrims who paid their ‘hadaya’ through the respective state.
“On 25th of June 2019, we wrote an FOI request to the states relying on the provisions of Sections 1&2 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2011, to know the total registered number of 2019 hajj pilgrims; the total number of pilgrims that paid for Hadayya through Jaiz Bank and their names, contact numbers and registration numbers as well as the total number of pilgrims that paid through State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards, their names and registration numbers”.
“The letters were sent to Kano, Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger, FCT, and Yobe State Muslim Pilgrims Board. However, only Yobe and Kaduna states officially responded to the request as at the time of issuing this public statement”.
The IHR read further, “We have concluded all necessary arrangements to ensure that we monitor how pilgrims conduct their hadaya this year. We are also aware that some states have collected hadaya money from pilgrims without issuing them receipt.
“These acts negate open transparency and we have begun to identify previous methods used to scam pilgrims by some dubious agents in collaboration with top state pilgrims boards officials,”.
But Abba insisted that since Hadaya was not made compulsory, the board has not directed Kano pilgrims to remit money meant for animal sacrifice with the board.
” We can not be held responsible or respond to any issue we don’t have control over. We never ask our pilgrims to pay to us since we are not agent of Jaiz bank that is responsible for the collection.
” So for anybody to ask us to provide information in respect of what we don’t do or have control on, is not fare. What we do since it was said it is not compulsory, was to direct anybody that wanted to pay for Hadaya to go personal to Jaiz Bank and pay. We don’t collect and we don’t ask anybody to collect on our be half ” Abba explained.