The Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG) has alerted the public on fraudulent advertisements on the electronic media for Hajj 2021 by some unscrupulous tour operators.
The group warned that some muslims in Nigeria might be duped by some fraudsters masquerading as Tour Operators across the 36 States of the federation and FCT Abuja.
The alert is contained in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by the National Coordinator of the group, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi.
It reminded citizens on the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic early last year which eventually affected pilgrims from all over the world from performing Hajj 2020, except few pilgrims from Saudi-Arabia.
It stated that consequent upon this development, thousands of intending pilgrims that registered and made payment for Hajj to 36 States and FCT Abuja pilgrims welfare boards/agencies could not perform the religious duty and have not collected their payments till date because of their optimism in this year’s exercisr.
“It is no longer fresh news that even though there would be Hajj this year, In-sha-Allah, the number of pilgrims to be allowed by Saudi Authorities has been drastically reduced!
“On Hajj 2021, the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) under its present hardworking leadership of Alhaji Zikrulkahi Hassan, has repeatedly stated through the mass-media that Saudi Authorities is yet to officially allocate Hajj slots to any Nation.
“MMWG therefore see advertisements by Tour Operators, comprising of International Travelling Agencies and Hajj Travels Companies under whatever guise for people to come and pay for 2021 Hajj till now is totally suspicious and questionable, because those who paid to them and the States Pilgrims Welfare Boards as well as FCT and did not collect their Hajj fees would be prioritised for this year’s Hajj.
“In the past, some fraudulent Tour Operators in this country have duped several pilgrims who wanted to travel with them through international routes by collecting payment without registering them for Hajj,” it noted.
The organisation therefore warned intending muslim pilgrims to be wary of scammers advertising their agencies even though no slot has been officially given to any country till today.
It however commended the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) for its efficient and effective regulatory roles aimed at sanctioning fraudulent tour operators.
The MWGN however commended NAHCON for its achievements so far on Hajj Saving Scheme, training of staff for effective Hajj operations and its effort to reduce Hajj fares and number of days spent during Hajj.
Ibrahim Abdullahi, FCIPM
Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG)
9th June, 2021 CE/28th Shawwal, 1442 AH