From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna
Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Board Overseer, Alhaji Kabiru Kasim yesterday said the state government will ensure adequate security at Hajj camps within the state.
According to him, the board has already met with the security team for the 2014 operations to ensure adequate security.
Speaking at Stakeholders holders meeting towards a successful 2014 Hajj Operation held in the state, Kasim said so far insecurity is the biggest challenge facing the board.
“God willing we are working to ensure that we make use of Mando Hajj Transit camp. But our biggest challenge is insecurity, but we are working towards ensuring that we provide adequate security in the camp.
“We have already met with our official security team for this year’s hajj operation and they also met with other stakeholders in hajj operations. We intend to search all vehicles going into the camp. In the past we don’t have much security challenges at the camp, but we all know what is happening today, so we have to take measures to protect the camp and our pilgrims,” he said.
In his remarks, the Zonal Director National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Ahmad Kumasie tasked all pilgrims’ boards within the zone to ensure adequate security provision at hajj camps.
He said there is the need for the security personnel at the camp entrance to be monitored seriously, saying NAHCON is so much concerned about ensuring security at the camps this year.
According to him, about 6,700 pilgrims from Kaduna zone are expected to be airlifted from the state airport.
“This year Kaduna has 5,698 pilgrims while plateau state has 1,200 pilgrims and all of them are expected to be airlifted from the airport in this zone,” he said.
He said three airlines have been approved for airlift of pilgrims from the zone and they are Max Air, Kabo and Egypt air.
NAHCON Commissioner in charge of North West, Alhaji Salisu Ado Shinkafi urged both NAHCON regional office and State Pilgrims board to work together.
Earlier, Representative of state Ministry of Health, Hajiya Zainab Umar said the issue of Ebola virus is a major challenge as the ministry has already set up a quarantine centre at the state airport in case of any suspected case.