Oyo’s success in 2016 hajj is through divine intervention, says Akewugbagold
Chairman, Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing), Alhaji Taofeek Akewugbagold, has attributed the successful conduct of 2016 hajj operation by the state to Allah’s divine intervention.
Speaking with newsmen at Oyo State House near Haram Mosque in Makkah, the chairman said the success recorded in 2016 hajj was unprecedented because of Allah’s involvement.
“You will notice that I came to Saudi Arabia late with some eight Oyo state pilgrims who had challenges with their visas but on getting here, I went straight to Kaabah and cried unto Allah to intervene and guide us through and Allah did it for us, alhamdulilah”, he said.
Akewugbagold said this year’s Hajj came with a lot of challenges, especially for the pilgrims from Oyo state but because he sought for Allah’s blessings, every challenge became solved for him.
He listed some of the challenges as visa procurement, transportation of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, securing the best accommodation near Haram Mosques both in Makkah and Medinah and securing BTA for the pilgrims.
Other challenges, according to him, was movement of the pilgrims from Madinah to Makkah, Makkah to Muna, Muna to Arafat, Arafat to Muzdalifa, stoning the devil at Jamrah without loosing a single pilgrim.
He said with the economic recession in the state, the state had handed off sponsorship of pilgrims as well as financial support to the board but with Allah’s support and cooperation of Gov. Abiola Ajimobi, Oyo state was able to manage its meagre resources to get the best for its pilgrims.
“For Instance, we paid close to N400,000 on each of these rooms in this five star hotel near Haram for our pilgrims. It is unprecedented in the history of Oyo state pilgrims to live so close to the Mosque, we are the best this year”, he boasted.
He, however, gave kudos to the pilgrims for conducting themselves well by abiding by the laid down rules in line with series of trainings and induction workshops gave to them ahead of the hajj exercise.
The chairman equally thanked Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state for his personal financial support and being an epitome of wisdom, which assisted the board in the execution of its laudable projects.
He said being a pacesetter state, Oyo state will move from its present tent C in Muna to tent B next year, thus moving her pilgrims closer to the Jamrah, saying that is the best any state can aspire.
Akewugbagold, however, expressed his support for policy on volunteerism during hajj being canvassed by Alhaji Abdullahi Mukhtar, National Chairman of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) but said such should be voluntary.
He said Oyo state had equally written NAHCON alongside other states asking for refund of some of the facilities promised but not supplied like the air-condition in the Arafat and Muna tents.
“I am indeed very grateful to Almighty Allah that I did not lose any of my pilgrims to death or missing except one that was critically ill and his situation is being normalised, Alhamdulilah robil alamin,” he said.