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Hajj calendar sacrosanct, CSO replies Oyo gov-elect

A civil society organization, Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), yesterday faulted the Oyo State Governor-elect Seyi Makinde over his comments that he would not be bound…

A civil society organization, Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), yesterday faulted the Oyo State Governor-elect Seyi Makinde over his comments that he would not be bound by the 2019 hajj preparations being made by the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board beyond May 29 handing over date.

Makinde was said to have, in a letter to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, accused the chairman of the pilgrims board of “making 2019 hajj arrangement beyond May 29th, being the handing over date”

“Any action executed by the board that will continue after May 29 will be considered to have been initiated in bad faith”, Makinde was quoted.

But the National Coordinator of IHR, Ibrahim Muhammed, in a statement yesterday, advised Makinde not to take any action that would derail the 2019 Hajj preparations, saying hajj exercise is based on the annual calendar issued by the Saudi Arabian authorities.

The statement read: “Mr Makinde should understand that preparations and arrangements of accommodations, transportation and other logistics for hajj exercise are being guided by hajj calendar of events as issued by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. This is so because Hajj activities are programmed towards Arafat day that cannot be changed by worldly events like May 29th handing over date.

“Consequently, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria being the apex hajj regulating body domesticated this hajj calendar of events to guide State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards’ plans and preparations towards 2019 hajj.

“More importantly, the deadline issued by hajj authority stipulated that all arrangements for 2019 hajj pilgrims’ accommodations and transportations cannot go beyond the date of commencement of Ramadan which is 6th of May 2019”. The group reiterated that the Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims Board like its counterparts in other states was bound by the annual calendar.

“Oyo is not the only state where a new administration is taking over the government machinery. States like Gombe, Imo and Kwara will be handing over to a different political party and we have not heard any complaint from the winners of election in these states as regards arrangement for 2019 hajj”.

 

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