Hajj 2024: ‘We are in darkness’ – Intending pilgrims cry out

by admin

A cross section of intending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj have declared that they are in total darkness of because of what they described as “poor and uncoordinated” enlightenment programme by some states Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards.

The pilgrims faulted the poor arrangements being put in place in the name of enlightenment programmes for them, which far below their expectations.

Some of them who spoke to HAJJ REPORTERS across the states said the officials “concentrated the enlightenment programmes to state capitals only” leaving those in other local governments to their fate, which is contrary to what obtains in the past.

For instance, an intending pilgrim from Adamawa State told HAJJ REPORTERS on the condition of anonymity that the state Muslim Pilgrims Board had so far ran only two enlightenment programmes saying, “I wonder what an intending pilgrim can learn from such an arrangement”.

Speaking further, the pilgrim said “they have not organised any enlightenment programme in my local government and the one they organised in Yola, the state capital, hardly made any impact” .

Another pilgrim, Alhaji Rufai, from Girei Local Government area of the state, said the orientation programme organised by the board “is not comprehensive enough to educate the pilgrims on this year’s Hajj”.

“We are about to travel to a foreign land for a major religious obligation and as such we expect them to give us vivid information on what to expect during screening, airlift and step-by-step guide on how to perform Hajj.

“They should invite the Ulama to go to all the local government headquarters and lecture intending pilgrims and not to concentrate in the headquarters for media show” he said.

A Niger State intending pilgrim, Alhaji Haliru, said he is yet to attend any enlightenment organised by the state Muslim Pilgrims Board because of the distance from his local government to the venue of the programme.

“I rely on reading Islamic Books on Hajj due to the long distance from my local government to Minna. Why can’t they organise the education programme in the headquarters of each local government?” he asked.

Also, another pilgrim, Hassana, from Kogi state urged Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR) to persuade the Kogi Hajj commission to be more organised.

“You hardly hear anything as per what is next after we completed our registration and I don’t even know whether they organise any enlightenment program”.

However, Hajiya Maryam, an intending pilgrim from Abuja, FCT, said she had learned a lot from the enlightenment programmes she attended at the permanent Hajj camp at Gwagwalada.

“Truly, we have been taught the dos and don’ts, and the Manasik of Hajj with practical demonstrations. I am patiently waiting for the day I will see the holy Kaaba, that has been my prayer and dream,” she said.

Hajj education and enlightenment programmes are meant to get intending pilgrims prepared and know how to perform Hajj when they finally arrive the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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