NAHCON partners MAI-HAJJ for hitch-free operation
As part of efforts towards ensuring successful Hajj operation this year, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has agreed to partner with Media Awareness Initiative for Hajj (MAI-HAJJ) in the area of pilgrims awareness, guidance and support as well as the general monitoring of conduct of the exercise in Nigeria and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The deal was sealed last week in Abuja during a courtesy call on the Chairman of the Commission, Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed Mukhtar by the executive members of the organization led by the National Secretary, Malam Muhammad Aminu Abdullahi.
According to the Chairman, the Commission remains committed towards consolidating and improving on the legacies laid by his predecessor, stressing that no body as individual or group could claim the monopoly of wisdom or knowledge to organize Hajj operation alone.
“The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) is committed to ensuring hitch free 2015 Hajj operation, therefore partnering with organizations such as Media Awareness Initiative for Hajj (MAIHAJJ) is paramount in achieving the set objectives. Nobody is perfect. The operation needs involvement of everybody, synergy to ensure success,” Mukhtar noted.
He said with their determination to implement certain reforms towards regulating Hajj and Umra activities in the country, advice and support from professionals is equally important to help intending pilgrims attain acceptable pilgrimage.
Around with the Chairman during the reception were top NAHCON officials such as Dr. Saleh Okenwa; Dr. M.B. Tambuwal; and Head of Media unit, Alhaji Uba Mana.
Abdullahi Mukhtar further explained that a lot of improvements have been achieved by all stakeholders of recent in the organization of this year’s Hajj, stressing that with the recent automation of the visa issuance process, incidences of pilgrims’ defection while in the Holy land or obtaining visa through the back door had been blocked by the commission.
“This time around all the details of each and every pilgrim must be provided to the Saudi Embassy in Abuja or its Consulate in Kano before Visa will be issued. These details include where the pilgrim will land, where to go, his accommodation in Mecca and Medina, his feeding allowances up to when he/she will return to Nigeria. Certainly with this e-track arrangement, it is extremely difficult for a pilgrim to abscond. Last year, we recorded only two cases of defection and we hope to record zero this time around,” the chairman added.
He commended MAIHAJJ for its selfless services to pilgrims last year, its diplomatic ways of handling matters in relation to the Hajj Commission and other agencies involved in running Hajj affairs and advised members of the organization to initiate ways towards self-sustenance, independence or autonomy as a watch dog.
Earlier, the leader of the team, Malam Muhammad Aminu Abdullahi had told the Chairman that they were in his office to congratulate him over his appointment and urged him to consolidate on the foundation laid by his predecessor Malam Muhammad Musa Bello with a view to taking Hajj management process and operation to a higher level.
Abdullahi who equally briefed him on how MAIHAJJ came into being and its awareness activities in recent times, called for partnership in the interest of pilgrims and other stakeholders.