BY TAOFEEK LAWAL, Medina, Saudi Arabia Nigerian pilgrims in Medina have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to hasten the recovery of the economy in order to make life more meaningful for the citizens. The pilgrims who expressed happiness on the safe return of the President to the country from a medical vacation in London said Almighty Allah has answered their prayers on Buhari who was away for 103 days. A pilgrim from Kaduna State, Alhaja Aisha Abu, said it is a thing of joy for the President to come back alive despite all the heresay about his health. The president's recovery she said has shown that it is only Almighty Allah who grants man good health whenever He wants. "His return has shown that Allah loves Nigeria. It is only agent of darkness and the corrupt elements who are not happy that the President is back. For us here in Medina, we'll continue...
The number of Nigerian pilgrims who have died at the current Hajj exercise has risen from five to seven, officials have stated. The chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Abdullahi Mohammed, disclosed this in an interview with journalists at Mount Arafat, Saudi Arabia, yesterday. Mohammed had earlier on Tuesday at the pre-Arafat meeting with Hajj stakeholders announced the death of five Nigerian pilgrims. Though the identities of the dead pilgrims were not disclosed, the chairman said the pilgrims were from Kwara, Kogi, Katsina and Kaduna states and had died due to natural illness. “We have lost seven pilgrims due to natural illness. Male and female, particularly from Kwara, Kogi, Katsina, and Kaduna States. No single accident recorded this year. All pilgrims were evacuated in good time. “We will have to say that, so far, so good. Even the mortality recorded this year is the lowest in the last 10 to 15...
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...
BY MALAM YUSUF ABDULLAH. In the name of Allah who states “we relate to you their story In truth; they were youths Who believed in their Lord, and We increased them In guidance; We gave strength to their hearts; Behold, they stood up And said; our Lord is The Lord of the heavens And of the earth; never Shall we call upon any god Other than Him: if we Did, we should indeed Have uttered an enormity!” Q18:13-14 May His everlasting peace and blessings be upon His noble servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny. Shaaban is the eighth month of Islamic calendar. It is very important not for its notable historic events but as it precedes the Ramadan kareem, the month of fasting, a spiritual school with multiplier effects meant to draw closer to Allah the most High! The month is related to the noble messenger just as Rajab is...
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...
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...
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...
This peace should have been published a fortnight ago but for the arrangement of umrah with which we were engaged. Well it is not late to have it now when many are already observing I’tikaaf and are about to end it . I’tikaaf means being engaged in certain form of devotion to Allah at  a certain time and place. That is I’tikaaf. The verse in Al-Baqarah (2:187) speaks about I’tikaat being observed in mosques; and this is where the scholars disagreed on the mosque in which this form of devotion, I’tikaat can be observed. Al-masaajid could be mosques in which all prayers, including or excluding Jumu’ah, are observed. There are mosques in which all prayers are observed but Jumu’ah. On Fridays the people praying in these mosques will have to converge in a larger mosque elsewhere in order to observe their Jumu’ah. Also, there are other mosques in which all prayers...
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...
Last week, I stopped at the third allegation of Ibrahim Sulaiman Yusuf’s group; the Nigeria Arewa Foundation against the Executive Chairman of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON). Today, we shall examine more of the allegations before looking at the other related allegations from another group. The motive seems quite related, but I digress. The fourth allegation was that in the last two Hajj Operations, the Chairman of NAHCON misled some State Pilgrim Welfare Boards (SPWBs) to pay money meant for the hadaya (animal slaughtered on the 10th Day in the month of Hajj) into “a particular bank Account with Jaiz Bank under the pretext that his led Commission would make the sacrifices on behalf of the Pilgrims and that the meat would be preserved and transported as donations to Nigeria internally displaced Persons”. They went further to allege that only a few States revolted against the Chairman as most states...