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Published On: Sun, Oct 12th, 2014

Adamawa stranded pilgrims in Makkah call for help

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From Umar Dankano, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Problems of  uncertainty that  plagued the  Adamawa state pilgrims participants in this year’s pilgrimage to Mecca seems  not to be over yet just as the  stranded pilgrims call for help alleging  that they are now living in an atmosphere of uncertainty over their returning  fate.

At least over one thousand Adamawa pilgrims are stranded in the Holy City after the Hajj ended, with no official of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) telling them what was going on.

Speaking to reporters, some disenchanted pilgrimsregretted that they were expected to travel to Medina to perform their farewell rites before returning to Nigeria but had not been told of arrangements to that effect.

A disturbed pilgrim, AbdulRazaqHalliru had first alleged that they were neglected by NAHCO prevailing on thecommission to provide them with information on travel arrangements back to Nigeria.

In his words: ‘’it seems to have become a perennial thing for potential Muslim pilgrims to expect the difficulties and problems associated with the organization of the Hajj in Adamawa.

‘’After the entire hullabaloo that surrounded the initial airlifting from Yola, we thought the officials would have learnt a lot of lessons,’’ said Halliru.

Another female pilgrim,  HajiyaJummai and Zainab  ,said that  that the pilgrimage to Mecca, as one of the five pillars of Islam, is of spiritual significance to every Muslim.

‘’This spiritual obligation should therefore, not be seen to be taken away from the potential pilgrims, through no fault of theirs. The act of performing the Hajj should be a spiritually joyous occasion for pilgrims, but the reverse has been the case in our state.

‘’We cannot understand why pilgrims will be made to pay, only to be left unattended to, due to someone’s organisational inefficiency,’’ she noted.

‘’The government owes it as a duty to intervene now, rather than wait for the situation to get out of hand, before it goes to the Saudi government to evacuate us back to Nigeria,’’Hawwa ‘u  further laments.

But when contacted, the state executive secretary of the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Engr. Umar Bobboi assured that,’’ we are working assiduously to see that the airlift of the pilgrims commenced in earnest.’’

Bobboi explained that the delay was not from the state officials but rather arrangements by the NAHCO, ‘’ that is yet to release the flight schedule,’’ he said.

The executive secretary therefore appealed for calm as according to him, ’’no pilgrim will be left stranded, pilgrims should not get worried.’’

 It could be recalled that Pilgrims from Adamawa State had earlier held a plane hostage in Kano for several hours at Aminu Kano International Airport for the Kabo airliner’s inability to take them to Saudi Arabia.

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