Last week, I dwelt on the first allegation by the Nigeria Arewa Foundation of Makkah, Saudi Arabia against the Executive Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed. The allegation was baseless, considering the enabling laws establishing the Commission and the fact that those deductions were approved by the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The deductions were not only statutory; they have been in force since 2007 and the same petitioner has been acquiescing to them under the previous leadership of NAHCON without any objection. It is curious that the objections came only when the current Chairman was appointed. The amounts have not changed, by the way. Today we will examine the second allegation from the Nigeria Arewa Foundation. They allege that the Chairman, without the consent of the State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, is unjustifiably negotiating...
Ustaz Abubakr Siddeeq Muhammad Last week, I hinted that the piece would be a lengthy one running into series. I also mentioned the issue of petitions written against the leadership of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON). There have been two prominent petitions I am aware of. Both petitions got a lot of attention from media outlets. Both had one thing in common; request for the removal of the current Executive Chairman, Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed. Their reasons for demanding his removal are also similar. Let us examine the petitions and what they say. This week I will begin with the petition of a group called The Nigerian Arewa Foundation, which is based in Saudi Arabia. The petition says they are “a Saudi based Nigeria Business Community lawfully registered under the corporate Acts of Saudi Arabia whose main occupations are the provisions of accommodations, catering and other Pilgrims welfare services to...
By Winifred Ogbebo, Abuja The Nigerian Christian Pilgrimage Commission (NCPC) has called on church leaders to set up pilgrimage committees in their various churches. Speaking at a meeting of key church leaders and pastors in Abuja, recently, the executive secretary, NCPC, Rev Tor Uja said with the committee in place, it would be easier to liaise with them on pilgrimage matters. Stressing that the committee members should be made up of committed men and women in the church, he also canvassed that some of the church leaders should serve as Pilgrimage Action Committees (PAC) which would soon be set up by the commission across the country. Uja equally tasked the church leaders to consider setting up a Christian Pilgrimage Operators in their churches which would be registered with the Commission so that they could participate in the pilgrimage process. He further enjoined them to participate fully in all the pilgrimage programmes of the commission. He...

Hajj Management In Nigeria (4)

There was mixup last week in the two documents I was working on for part 3 of this piece: the one was a speech that formed part of my presentation as a discussant in the paper delivered by Dr Usman Bugaje, and the other the template upon which this series is based. In haste to catch my flight from Istanbul to Abuja I put the last paragraph in the piece which even if I was able to present my prepared speech I would not have read that part since Alhaji Fola Adeola was absent at the occasion. I regret any confusion that might have created in the minds of my readers especially those who were present at the event. Hajj is a multi-billion naira sector of our economy. I am, however, more interested in refining its workings and processes. I am particularly interested in making Hajj operations comfortable, efficient and...
LEADERSHIP EDITORS The Zurmi Emirate Council in Zamfara State has distributed over N8.9 million to the needy as Zakkat to the people of the area. Making the distribution on behalf of the state governor, in Zurmi on Sunday, the deputy governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Wakkala, reminded people of the state that Zakkat is mandatory on every Muslim, who had the resources. He, therefore, urged all those who were supposed to make the annual offering from their wealth, such as money, animals and grains, to continue to do so, in order to improve the well-being of the poor. Speaking at the event which took place at his palace, the Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, said a total of 378 persons would get N20,000 each. The emir, who is the chairman of the Zakkat Collection Committee of the emirate, also disclosed that 570 bags of assorted grains were collected from farmers which would be shared to...
By Adebayo Waheed, Ibada Following the controversy trailing the increase in the fares for this year's hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia for the intending pilgrims, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCA) has blamed the federal government for the purported increase. The NSCA President and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Sa'ad in a statement issued by Ustaz Isa Okonkwo, Director of Administration said government involvement was responsible for the high cost for obvious reasons. According to him, the  committee set up by the NSCIA under the leadership of Gen. A.B. Mamman (Rtd) to work out the modus-operandi of transfer had not been given the required support ,particularly in the area of statistics by National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON). He said hajj should not be commercialised at the expense of the masses who are struggling to fulfill their religious obligation, hence the need to explore the cheapest cost for a...
BY MIDAT JOSEPH, The Paramount ruler of the Gbagyi ethnic nationality, Dr. Danjuma Shekwogaza Barde has observed that no society can progress where ethnic, tribal or religious segregation thrives. He made the observation during the maiden edition of the Maraban Rido Community Peace Festival organized by the Global Peace Foundation Nigeria in Maraban Rido community of Kaduna State as part of its 'One Family Under God' Campaign held at the weekend. The occasion which had the theme “Celebrating our Unity in Diversity” drew over two thousand people from within and outside Maraban Rido Kudansa community. The Gbagyi ruler advised the people to learn to tolerate each other’s cultures, traditions and beliefs. He commended the foresight of GPF Nigeria in working to remind the people of what unites rather than what divides them and urged other well-meaning individuals, groups and politicians to borrow a leaf and always carry the message of peace and tolerance in...
MSUE AZA,Kaduna Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar, has urged all Muslims never to return to abominable acts after the Ramadan Fast. JNI,reiterated call to the Muslim faithful to intensify prayers for the Ummah against all manners of misfortunes, relief and succour to the economic challenges bedeviling the nation. In a statement issued by,Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu,JNI Secretary-General, while reminding Muslims of the most rewarding part of Ramadan fast,the last ten days and the need for Muslims to intensify spiritual exertions implored Muslims to intensify their generosities in giving alms to the poor,needy, the orphans and the handicapped in the society. According to the statement :"Especially that many families are finding it very unbearable, as a result of extreme economic challenges bedeviling the country" "Whilst wishing all Muslim faithful Allah's pardon in these sacred days and after, we pray fervently for His benevolent acceptance...

There Is Still Hope For You (2)

BY Pastor James Abuh In life some may walk, others may run remember the same Lord gave the tortoise and the horse the same day to reach Noah’s Ark. Your journey in life might be rough and tough but you will definitely get to your destination.  Jacob looked at Joseph and saw a good son, His ten brothers saw a useless dreamer the travelers saw a slave, portifer saw a fine servant, portifer’s wife saw a good boy friend and a sex machine; the prison warder saw a prisoner, how wrong were all of them, God look at Joseph and saw a prime minister of Egypt in a waiting. Don’t be discouraged by what people value you, be encourage by what God sees in you. That house maid might be the CEO that will employ your child. That Gardner might be the president in the waiting. David was a simple...

Hajj Management In Nigeria (2)

“Hajj in Islam”, according to Dr Bugaje, “is neither fun, nor joke, nor a past time for self-aggrandizement, which unfortunately it has been made to appear today.” He said as “one of the five pillars of Islam,”  Hajj is an opportunity for the pilgrims to learn from each other what will advance the cause of the Ummah socially, politically, financially and whatnot; in as much as “the Qur’an explicitly states” the objective of Hajj: “so that they can witness that which is of benefit to them.” (Qur’an 22: 27-28).  These benefits abound, Bugaje said, in “every generation”, as Hajj will provide it with “its needs and capacity to excel” and become “a model for others” to emulate. (Qur’an 3:110). Dr Bugaje established a number of cases in African history where, “in the last 1000 years”, Hajj has played roles “in state building, social integration” as well as being a potent...