Hajj 2022: CSO to monitor distribution of Hajj seats to pilgrims

Posted by News Express | 12 May 2022 | 692 times

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•IHR National Coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammed

 

By GARBA MUHAMMAD, Kaduna

As part of measures to ensure equitable distribution of Hajj seats to pilgrims, Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a civil society organization, has said that it would monitor how State Muslim Pilgrims Boards would share their Hajj 2022 seats allocation to intending pilgrims.

IHR, therefore, called on officials responsible for allocating seats to all intending pilgrims to be fair to all.

A statement signed on Wednesday by its National Coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammed, said the group has instructed its members across the states to liaise with the leadership of the boards and agencies in the states to know the number of intending pilgrims that have been able to meet the criteria set by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), and those that were eventually selected to perform 2022 Hajj.

According to IHR, the allocation of 2022 Hajj Seats to States Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards follow certain criteria adopted by NAHCON and urged State’s Pilgrims Boards to apply the agreed principle of first come, first served.

IHR said it was already aware that Saudi Arabian authorities have limited the maximum age of those who could perform Hajj 2022 to 65 years. This criterion alone, it said, will disrupt the philosophy of ‘first come first serve’ because there are pilgrims who paid much earlier than others but were above 65 years.

“The projection of N2.5 Million as Hajj fare will also affect the outcome because not all those who are on the priority list will be able to pay up the balance of their fare as at and when due,” IHR said.

The CSO advised that those who paid in 2019 should be given the right of first refusal before 2020, and 2021 depositors. This sequence of distribution should also supersede the NAHCON/SMPWBS’ 60/40 seat formula.

IHR further appealed to State’s Muslim Pilgrims Boards Executive Secretaries not to succumb to Politicians who may put pressure on them to allocate Hajj seats to their political foot soldiers to the detriment of intending pilgrims.

“With a few days to primary elections of major political parties, desperate politicians may likely want to hijack Hajj seats as part of political favours to woo delegates or influence support for their candidature.

Saudi Arabia has allocated 43,008 Hajj quota to Nigeria for this year’s pilgrimage after two consecutive years of suspending Hajj due to the Corona Virus pandemic.

Consequently, NAHCON has allocated seats to states, using a commendable 2019 airlift performance yardstick to States and private Tour Operators. A total number of 33, 976 were distributed to states and 9,032 set aside to be shared to registered private tour operators.

The Top 10 Hajj states like Kaduna received 2,419, Niger – 2256;  Sokoto – 2404; Kano – 2,229; Katsina – 2,146; Kebbi 2,128, Lagos – 1,562, , FCT – 1, 538; Bauchi – 1,362 and Zamfara, 1,303.


Source: News Express

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