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Ganduje alleges fraud, urges FG, Assembly probe of hajj 2022

By Murtala Adewale, Kano
03 December 2022   |   8:40 pm
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has faulted the operation of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on the conduct of the 2022 Hajj exercise.

[FILES] Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. Photo/.facebook/ChibuikeRAmaechi

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has faulted the operation of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on the conduct of the 2022 Hajj exercise.

Besides, Ganduje accused the commission of gross misconduct and mismanagement of resources that led to NAHCON’s failure to airlift over 700 intended pilgrims from Kano to Saudi Arabia.

Receiving the operation report of the 2022 Hajj exercise from the state Pilgrims Welfare Board, Ganduje said the 2022 Hajj was the worst ever witnessed in the last seven years, calling for an immediate probe of NAHCON.

Ganduje challenged the federal government and the national assembly to investigate the operation of NAHCON with special reference to the 2022 Hajj to save the nation from needless national embarrassment in the future.

“The last 2022 Hajj operation was the worst I ever witnessed during my tenure as the governor of Kano state. It was mismanaged, with a number of dishonest attitudes, fraud and anomalies.

“Due to the inefficiency and mismanagement of the National Hajj Commission, many Pilgrims suffered severely without any remorse from the national agency.

“The airline we chose was not the one they gave us. I went there personally to lodge our complaint and they promised to abide by our choice. But unfortunately, they gave us another airline entirely different.” Ganduje lamented.

The Governor however lauded the state pilgrim’s welfare board for untiring efforts to convey Kano passengers to the holy despite heavy bottlenecks.

A crisis between the Kano state government and NAHCON ensued when the state rejected AZMAN allocated to convey her intended pilgrims for the 2022 Hajj. Kano state government insisted AZMAN lacked the technical capacity and made a former request to replace the carrier.

Although NAHCON promised to replace AZMAN after the visit of the Governor to the Hajj Commission in Abuja, the pledge however failed to actualize with a fresh directive from NAHCON mandated AZMAN to airlift Kano pilgrims.

Earlier, the Executive Chairman of the board, Ambassador Mohammad Abba Danbatta submitted a 12-volume report containing the activities of the board in the just concluded Hajj.

Danbatta reported that Kano was denied the opportunity to select and choose an airline in line with tradition. Emphasized that Kano rejected Azman Airlines because of the limited capacity to convey the magnitude of Kano pilgrims, a development that letter led to over 700 intended pilgrims missing the operation.

The Danbatta told the Governor despite the challenges, the board is prepared to embark on hitch-free exercise for 2023 while making official approval to enable the board to commence operation for next year’s Hajj.