Intending pilgrims in the South-South part of Nigeria are said to be making Cross River State their choice of patronage for the 2020 Hajj exercise.
It would be recalled that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NACHON) had toward the end of 2019 Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia issued an operating license to Cross River State to commence Hajj and Umrah Tour Operations.
The state was the only state in the South-South with such operating license as at the time it was issued in August.
Chairman, Cross River Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhj Hassan Tanimu while speaking with newsmen disclosed this in Abuja after the Enlarge meeting between NACHON and State chairmen of pilgrims board said “As at the last count, over 50 intending pilgrims from Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and even Ebonyi and Abia States had have indicated interest to follow Cross River State contingent in 2020.
The Chairman said these intending pilgrims would have commenced payment for the exercise but for the directive of the National Hajj commission on the payment procedures and 2020 rules of engagement guidelines on Hajj and Umrah operators.
Hassan said the glory of achievements of the board was hinged on Governor Ben Ayade’s clear leadership direction and strategy of ‘putting your soul forward and your body will follow’, which has helped the board to achieve so many things within the short period of time despite numerous challenges.
The Chairman also commended the leadership of the Department of Religious Matters in Cross River State for being the parent body supervising the board activities in the state
“If in less than one month after our return from Saudi Arabia, there are over fifty intending pilgrims already indicated to go with Cross River Pilgrims Welfare Board in 2020 Hajj exercise, you can imagine how many will be in another five to six months time, this is the selling point from Cross River State which I discussed with the Chairman during our meeting.
“It is a clear indication that we are getting it right in Cross River, and that the little our governor is doing through his ‘Intellectual money Maxim’, resonates all over the country even as a Muslim minority state.