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Pilgrimage: Timely participation of intending pilgrim necessary, says official

…We will maintain successes of 2022 Hajj next year- FCT board

December 18, 2022 3 min read 

– agency report

The timely participation of intending pilgrims in the Hajj processes is necessary to avoid unnecessary challenges by the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board and pilgrim.

Director of the board, Malam Muhammed Danmallam, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

He said the FCT board was desirous of conducting a hitch free Hajj exercise for intending pilgrims but the full support of the participants was necessary to achieve this.

‘’The FCT pilgrim most time is known to be in the elitist category being the capital of the country where the high and the mighty are residing. We have other categories of persons from the rural areas, too.

‘’The board will want all intending pilgrims to start participating in our various programmes designed to make the Hajj hitch free. This has been a bit hard to achieve; but we are trying our best to change the narrative.

‘’We have on ground various enlightenment programmes that are conducted through radio and television as well as physically at the Hajj camp.

‘’The programme are aimed at sensitising the intending pilgrims, weather old or new on the rudiments of the Hajj. Moreso, a lot of new initiative is being introduced by the Saudi authourity that is needed to be imbibed by pilgrims,’’ he said.

Danmallam said that the success of the Hajj exercise depends on the cooperation of the pilgrims, adding that this would improve mutual understanding between the board and pilgrims.

He also stressed on the issue for pilgrims to take advantage of the flight schedules allocated to the board in order to avoid waste of time and resources.

‘’When a flight is schedule for the pilgrims, we expect them to come out at the right time to avoid delaying the flight and the economic cost to the board.

‘’During the Hajj period, the flights are allocated to various pilgrim boards within and outside Nigeria. There is normally an economic implication when it is not boarded on time or when it leaves without meeting it capacity,’’ he said.

On the issue of enlightenment, he said that the board employed languages mostly understood by intending pilgrims for maximum understanding, adding that Hajj is about performance according to prescribed standards.

The director added that English, Hausa, Yoruba, Gwari, Fulfulde, and Ebira were among the languages used in carrying out the education of intending pilgrims on the rites.

He added that the physical training was also conducted at the camp where there are structures for Kaaba, Tawaf and Sa’i as well as throwing of the stone.

Danmallam said that staff of the board were trained and retrained on their obligations periodically to keep them up to date and maximise service delivery.

He lauded the FCT Administration for also seeing to the proper welfare of the staff which has helped in maintaining discipline, efficiency and dedication in operations.

We will maintain successes of 2022 Hajj next year- FCT board

The FCT Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Board (MPWB) has pledged to continue with the successes recorded in the 2022 Hajj operations during the 2023 exercise.

Malam Muhammed Danmallam, Director of the board, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

He said that the welfare of Abuja pilgrims was a religious obligation that the board was charged to discharge credibly, adding that it’s a win win solution.

‘’The issue of seeing to the need of pilgrims is a religious obligation that we see as an affairs that is pleasing to Allah. When a pilgrim is assisted to perform is rites, then whoever has a hand in it is rewarded by Allah.

‘’The pilgrim is a visitor of Allah exercising is duties as prescribed by Allah, so pleasing the visitor is pleasing Allah which has its own benefit,’’ he said.

Danmallam said that the 2022 pilgrimage was an emergency one but the board was able to put its house in order to carry it out satisfactorily, adding that in 2023 enough time was available to prepare.

‘’If you remember, this year the Saudi Arabia authority did not give a clear sign that the pilgrimage will be taking place. It was a short time that all countries had because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘’But our previous experience helped a lot in deciding our quick intervention for carrying out the exercise. The COVID-19 issue hampered most of the preparations usually done by pilgrims’ board.

‘’This was not limited to Nigerian alone. And the number of person that performed this year’s Hajj was even less than half of what obtains previously. We made the best we can of the situation to conduct it to the glory of God,’’ he said.

Danmallam gave the assurance that all the hitches encountered in 2022 Hajj would signpost the progress that the board has noted and to be worked on in 2023.

He commended Minister of FCT Muhammed Bello, and the Minister of Minister of State FCT, Dr Ramatu Aliyu for their support and encouragement for the success of the operation.

The FCT Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Board was created with the sole mandate to organize, coordinate and supervise the smooth and hitch-free annual Muslim pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Saudi Arabia.

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