Hajj 2021: Consider Social Media Notice Inconclusive, NAHCON Urges

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Murtala Ade.

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has urged intending pilgrims and general public not to rely or draw conclusion on any information about hajj 2021 on social media.

Apparently regarding to a guideline released by Saudi Arabia ministry of health which recommended standard COVID-19 protocols and number of overseas pilgrims for this year’s hajj.

According to the guidelines, intending pilgrims are restricted to persons between ages of 18 and 60, compulsory three days isolation on arrival to the only land and total number of 60,000 pilgrims to participate in the spiritual exercise among other conditions.

The guidelines especially the extreme limited number of overseas contingents recommended for the exercise had continued to generate mix reaction.

Reacting to the worries however, spokesperson of the Nigeria hajj mission, Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, clarified that the guidelines in circulation was not the finality for next hajj, adding that the guidelines will still be subjected to final ratification of Ministry of hajj.

A statement signed by Fatima indicated that, NAHCON as official body responsible for hajj and Umrah operations in Nigeria has not sanction the Saudi ministry of health guidelines until further clarification is made by the highest authority.

According to the statement, “The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) as a body officially responsible for organizing Hajj and Umrah activities in Nigeria notices an information on 2021 Hajj making round especially in the social media relating to guidelines for this year’s Hajj.

“The Commission would like to clarify that so far, the material is emanating from the Saudi Ministry of Health as suggestive guidelines for a peculiar Hajj upended by COVID-19. The Commission is fully aware of the very important role of the health ministry in Hajj planning in Saudi Arabia therefore is not in doubt on the possibility of it being adopted.

“However, the Commission would like to draw the attention of the general public that the finality of Hajj guidelines will come from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah which will either endorse the released guidelines or issue the final position of the Kingdom contrary to what has been so far released by the Ministry of Health, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

Fatima added that, ” Until the said ministry of Hajj and Umrah releases the guidelines on its website and formally communicates to Nigeria, NAHCON humbly urges the public to consider the information being circulated as guidelines for 2021 Hajj as inconclusive.

“The Commission will not fail to keep the public updated as soon as an official stand is finalized by the kingdom. NAHCON understands the anxious wait by the public, especially by Hajj and Umrah stakeholders regarding 2021, in order to make their final decisions and preparations”.

NAHCON emphasized confidence that Saudi Arabia is considerate of all happenings and will soon make a proclamation on Hajj 2021 in the interest of all Muslims as promised.

While awaiting response from the Saudi government, NAHCON urged all Hajj stakeholders and intending pilgrims to remain patient and accept in good faith whatever decision the Kingdom will take with regards to Hajj while keep working for the best bargains in the interest of all its stakeholders.

Prior to this period, Nigeria had enjoyed 95,000 allocation of pilgrims, a slot that had not been able to exhaust.

However, due to the cancellation of 2020 hajj for international pilgrims due to Corona virus, Nigeria has generated multiple intending pilgrims who cannot afford to miss the 2021 hajj exercise.

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