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Lagos begins arrangements for 2020 hajj


Muslim worshippers perform prayers around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca on August 15, 2018, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city.<br />The hajj, expected to draw more than two million pilgrims to Mecca this year, represents a key rite of passage for Muslims and a massive logistical challenge for Saudi authorities, with colossal crowds cramming into relatively small holy sites. / AFP PHOTO / Bandar Al-DANDANI

The Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Home Affairs, Uzamat Akinbile – Yussuf has paid an official visit to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in Abuja to deliberate on issues concerning Hajj exercise.

Yussuf, who is the first female Commissioner for Home Affairs in Lagos State, expressed her appreciation to NAHCON officials, particularly the Director, Hajj Orientation, Dr. Tanko Alliu, for their efforts at ensuring the safe return to Nigeria of a pilgrim Alh. Mustapha Taiwo, who got missing in Saudi Arabia while performing the 2019 holy pilgrimage, adding that his safe return, was a great relief to the state.

While confirming receipt of the death certificates of the two Lagos State pilgrims who lost their lives in Saudi Arabia by the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, she noted that the international passports of the two deceased, Alh. Siraj Kayode Molake and Hadja Mulikat Shade Lawal are still being awaited. She appealed to the Commission to expedite action at ensuring speedy retrieval of the documents from the Saudi Authority.


Chairman NAHCON, Muhammad Mukhtar, promised to look into the matter with a view to ascertaining whether the passports are still with the Saudi Arabian Authority or not. He assured the commissioner that if the passports are eventually retrieved, they would be sent to the Board for onward transmission to the families of the deceased.

Muktar said Lagos State is the best in Hajj operation, he further commended the state for coordinating her pilgrims towards exemplary conduct in the holy land. He also commended the state for her proficiency in the area of visa procurement for intending pilgrims, media/publicity as well as provision of accommodation in the holy land.

He emphasized that the State showed due diligence in securing conducive and comfortable accommodation for her pilgrims in Misfalah area of Makkah, adding that NAHCON has therefore made it a policy that henceforth, no state in Nigeria would be allowed to secure accommodation for its pilgrims in Reabarsh area of Makkah except Misfalah where better and modern hotels are located.

Muktar appreciated the efforts of Lagos State in the area of Information dissemination and management. He sought for synergy between the State Pilgrim Boards and NAHCON with a view to strengthening information management so that information can be properly managed in order to discourage miss- information.

The Executive Secretary of Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr. Rahman Ishola, accompanied the Hon. Commissioner on the visit.

Meanwhile, the Secretary has announced that the Board has concluded arrangement for the commencement of sales of forms for Umrah (lesser hajj) during the Holy month of Ramadan and the main Hajj exercise for intending pilgrims who wishes to perform the spiritual rites in the year 2020. The sales of the forms will begin on Monday 18th November 2019.

He added that those interested in performing the Umrah (lesser hajj) during the last ten days of Ramadan with the Board, should please contact the office of the Secretary for full details about payment and other necessary information.

He urged interested Pilgrims to take advantage of the opportunity provided by Lagos State, which is aimed at giving all intending Pilgrims the best of treatment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


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