250 in Edo intending pilgrims may miss Hajj | Dailytrust

250 in Edo intending pilgrims may miss Hajj

A picture taken on July 29, 2020 shows pilgrims circumambulating around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the centre of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, ahead of the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage. – Mask-clad Muslim pilgrims began the annual hajj, dramatically downsized this year as the Saudi hosts strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage. The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, is usually one of the world’s largest religious gatherings. (Photo by STR / AFP)
A picture taken on July 29, 2020 shows pilgrims circumambulating around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the centre of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, ahead of the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage. – Mask-clad Muslim pilgrims began the annual hajj, dramatically downsized this year as the Saudi hosts strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage. The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, is usually one of the world’s largest religious gatherings. (Photo by STR / AFP)

The Chairman of Edo State Pilgrim Welfare Board, Sheik Ibrahim Oyarekhua, has said over 250 intending pilgrims from the state may miss this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia because of limited space.

 Ibrahim who disclosed this yesterday in Benin in an interview with Daily Trust said only 150 slots were given to the state while over 400 persons had made the full payment.

 He explained that 43,000 slots were given to Nigeria and that out of the number, 150 slots were given to the state.

 He said, “We have 150 intending pilgrims in Edo State for this year’s Hajj but we have over 400 intending pilgrims who had made full payment for the Hajj.

 “Initially, 94 slots were given to us, and 56 were later added making a total of 150 slots. We still hope for more slots as Saudi Arabia has promised additional 5,000 slots to Nigeria.

 “We have over 400 intending pilgrims who had made the payment because of the backlog of 2020, 2021 and 2022, now because of COVID 19 pandemic. That has somehow raised the numbers of intending pilgrims in the state.

 “Now everybody wants to go and what we have deployed is that people would go in order of payment, those captured in 2020 would go first, then 2021 before 2022.”

 Sheik Ibrahim said the board hoped to travel to Saudi Arabia with at least about 70 to 80 per cent of the intending pilgrims.

 He said though the inaugural flight in the country had taken place, the state would fix the departure date after receiving the state’s slots from the additional slots to be given to Nigeria.

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