Hajj 2023: NAHCON should Decentralise Medical Team - 9japarrot


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Monday 26 June 2023

Hajj 2023: NAHCON should Decentralise Medical Team


By Nurat Uthman

Lagos State has called on the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to decentralise its medical team to the Holy land.

Head of the Lagos State Hajj team and former Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, made the call in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after a successful airlifting of all pilgrims from Lagos State. Elegushi explained that the state, through its pilgrims’ board, has raised the bar in the administration of Hajj exercise and would love to collaborate with other stakeholders for more effective deliveries.

He said: “We have been having a peaceful arrangement, though with little hitches, which is normal, but so far we have been able to control crowd and resolve other issues regarding the pilgrims. We have been able to airlift over 3,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia and for now, everything is okay for Lagos Pilgrims.

“NAHCON has done well, but I think its best they reduce the power of the operation. Some states can perform better in certain areas, for instance medicals. Though NAHCON is always prepared, but looking at the number of people that came from Nigeria, their facilities may be overwhelmed.

“If we can have medicals from the houses where pilgrims reside, it would reduce pressure on major medical infrastructure, they should at least release some powers to the state, I am sure things will go well if they can do that.”

Elegushi however reassured the pilgrims of better arrangements in the coming days.

Deputy Coordinator of the Lagos State Hajj team Abdullahi Jebe thanked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for ensuring the right persons are positioned to carry out the Hajj operations for Lagos Pilgrims.

Jebe noted that pilgrims in the last batch of have completed the visitation (Ziyarah) to some Islamic historical sites in the city of Madinah. According to him, the 11th batch, comprising 171 pilgrims, carried out the visitation between Thursday and Friday in fulfilment of requirements for the performance of the spiritual exercise.

Meanwhile, pilgrims from Osun State have protested poor feeding by the Osun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board.

Findings by The Nation revealed that the pilgrims have been poorly fed for three weeks since their arrival in the Holy Land, and they made several complaints to concerned bodies without changes. Pilgrims said they continue to eat boiled egg and bread in the morning, while they eat Semovita or Tuwo at night.

The pilgrims resorted to buying foods from alternative sources which are not authorised, until Saturday evening when police arrested the alternative sources leaving them with no other options.

 In videos obtained by our correspondent, the pilgrims threatened to litter the bathrooms and toilet with the food.

 A pilgrim who identified himself as Saka said: “Since our arrival, they have been feeding us with bread and boiled egg in the morning, and poorly prepared semovita or Tuwo with soup at night. We did not raise eyebrows because we are buying food elsewhere.

 “Meanwhile, police arrested the alternative food vendors yesterday and the food they brought yesterday was full of lumps, it is so disheartening, we paid for this Hajj and we are been treated like prisoners.”

 It was learnt that the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun and Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Lawal, who are also on hajj, intervened and begged the pilgrims to exercise patience.

 Meanwhile, Administrative Secretary of the Osun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Bolaji Sanni, in a statement reacting to the protest said: “A meeting was held this afternoon to appraise the situation and determine the cause of the problem. We discussed the lack of adequate local Yoruba delicacies in the food menu of the service provider, and the need for its inclusion in subsequent meals. The meeting also discussed the possibility of changing the caterers if there is no improvement.”

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