Lagos pilgrims board reacts to protest against hike in hajj fare
Umrah pilgrims pray for Sanwo-Olu in Makkah
Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has formally reacted to a peaceful protest on Monday by some intending pilgrims against a hike in 2022 hajj fare.
In a statement, yesterday, the board’s Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Taofeek Lawal, said all intending pilgrims had been communicated by the schedule officers attached to the local councils in respect of the 100 per cent increase in the cost of the hajj fare.
“It is important to note that the increment is totally beyond the control of the federal or state government because hajj operations, which are under the control of the Government of Saudi Arabia, are dollar-based. The dollar, which was exchanged for N306 to one naira in 2019, has now risen to N419 (official rate) in 2022,” he said.
He said the board had no alternative but to act as directed by its regulator to make the exercise seamless for the intending pilgrims.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State pilgrims, currently performing the Ramadan Umrah (lesser hajj) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have offered prayers for the success of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration.
The prayer session was part of the lecture series organised by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Matters, Ahmad Abdullahi Jebe, at the Ajiyad Mukaram Hotel, Makkah.
According to Jebe, the lecture was in addition to other spiritual activities designed to sensitise the pilgrims on the significance of Umrah in the life of the Muslims.
Deputy Head of Operations in the welfare board, Imam Soliu Olohungbebe, said that Allah made human beings the head of all His creations and Prophet Mohammad (SAW) the “head of all other prophets ordained by Him.”
He noted that observing the five daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan, payment of Zakat and performing other pillars of Islam does not fully qualify one as a man of God.
Olohungbebe stressed that those with the qualities would only be rewarded with Aljanat Fridaus by Allah on the day of resurrection.