BY TAOFEEK LAWAL, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
A total of about 81,200 Nigerian pilgrims will join over two million of their counterparts from around the globe that commences today.
The chairman/CEO of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Barrister Abdullahi Muhammad Mukhtar stated this at the pre-Arafat stakeholders conference which held at the Al-Raqiyyah Hall, Khhalidiyyah 2 in Makkah yesterday.
The NAHCON boss said number was arrived at as 65,000 pilgrims came through the states’ board’s and 16, 200 came through private tour operators.
He called on all stakeholders to put hands on deck to ensure a hitchfree hajj adding that no one should relent until the pilgrims carry out the haj rites and safely return to their families. He added that the commission will not rest on its oars in ensuring that all the pilgrims get the best services and attention during the exercise.
He said the reforms carried out by NAHCON has come to stay in orderto ensure that pilgrims get value for their money with a vow that no amount of threat, arm twisting, ill-motivated criticisms will stop the commission from achieving its goals. Muhammad Mukhtar disclosed that four Nigerian pilgrims have confirmed dead so far.
In his own contributions, the commissioner in charge of policy, personnel management and finance (PPMF), Alhaji Adebayo Yusuf Ibrahim charged tour operators to fulfil the promises made to international pilgrims on providing decent accommodation for them. We are committed to make sure that this year’s exercise is better that last year.
In his presentation, the head NAHCON medical team, Dr Ibrahim Kana said his team ranked among the best in the area of efficient service delivery to the pilgrims. He stated that Nigeria has 4 clinics and 4 outposts which are strategically located around pilgrims accommodation inMakkah.
According to Kana, the clinics are located Shara Hijrah, Shara Mansur, Misfallah and Kudai while the outposts located within Kaduna and Gombe pilgrims accommodation. He added that over 14,872 pilgrims have been attended to saying 1 in 5 Nigerian pilgrims has visited the National Medical Team clinics.
He said there have been 84 referrals to Saudi hospitals with 22 pilgrims on admission in Saudi hospitals. He informed that there has been a case of one miscarriage and one delivery and four deaths from Adamawa, Kano and Kwara States.