Hajj 2018: Ambassador calls for smooth hajj operations

Asma'u Halilu, Makkah

Hajj 2018

The Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Isa Dodo has called on all Nigerian Hajj Affair handlers to ensure smooth and successful 2018 Hajj exercise, as experienced in the previous years.

The Ambassador was speaking in Makkah at the Pre-Arafat meeting, which discusses processes and arrangements on the commencement of hajj rites, organised by the National Hajj Commission, NAHCON.

Dodo urged all officials to live up to their responsibilities to the Pilgrims, by ensuring the wellbeing of the Pilgrims through guidance and counselling.

“All officials are expected to ensure pilgrim’s comfort in the areas of conducive accommodation, health and other civic responsibilities, particularly at the religious sites, saying, they should not hesitate to seek assistance from his office or the office of the Consul General, and NAHCON, whenever the need arises” he said.

On his part, NAHCON Chairman,  Abdullahi Muktar admonished all

State Pilgrims Welfare Boards to ensure pilgrims comply and obey all Saudi rules, regulations and guidelines for a smooth Hajj exercise.

According to the Chairman, “disregard for the rules of Saudi authorities is likely to affect the Nigerian contingent and also jeopardize the entire Saudi arrangement which might be detrimental to the pilgrims of other Nations.

He called for understanding and cooperation amongst officials, Pilgrims, NAHCON and the Saudi relevant authorities.

Speaking on airlifts, Mukhtar confirmed that all Nigerian Pilgrims that paid for this year’s Hajj, have been successfully transported to the holy land, including those of the Private Tour Operators.

The Chairman said the Commission experienced challenges when compared to previous years, adding that, next year’s, BTAs of State government sponsored Pilgrims would be remitted along with their  fares to ensure provision of the monies by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Movement of Pilgrims to Muna, which kick starts the actual Hajj rites will commence from midnight today, so that all pilgrims will be transported to their tents by tomorrow morning.