Hajj 2016: Muslims To Set New Modalities For Operations – Sultan
The Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III has said that Muslim stakeholders would soon meet on new modalities for hajj operations.
He was speaking yesterday in Abuja at the 7th Post Hajj Conference of Stakeholders on Hajj 2015 organised by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
The Federal Government broke tradition by not having a government delegation and withdrawing from hajj and other pilgrimage sponsorship, claiming it saved millions of naira.
President Muhammadu Buhari however constituted a five-man Central Coordinating Team (CCT) headed by Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II.
The Sultan said the withdrawal of government sponsorship was not an aberration and that Muslims must find ways of meeting up the challenge of organising hajj operations to ensure smooth operations and success of the exercise.
“Hajj 2015 was successful but very challenging especially due to the crane collapse and the stampede.
“The government has withdrawn sponsorship and we had to put extra efforts to ensure that success was recorded for this year’s exercise”, he said.
According to him, a stakeholder’s meeting would soon be held on how to make hajj operations independent of government sponsorship and are looking at the way it is being done in Malaysia and Indonesia and other countries.
Emir Sanusi on his part said it is important for stakeholders to evolve new strategies that would ensure that Muslim pilgrims get better treatment especially in the face of government withdrawal of sponsorship in hajj operations.
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Nnena Ukeje said the National Assembly was concerned about the welfare of Nigerian pilgrims to the Holy lands and would continuously work for ways to ensure better treatments for Nigerians and pilgrimage operations.
The Commissioner, Planning Research Information and Library services of NAHCON, Dr. Saleh Okenwa, who briefed reporters after the meeting, said the meeting was to afford stakeholders the opportunity to table and address issues that arose in the 2015 hajj and fashion out ways for improvement.