As the Hajj 2014 operation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia draws near, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Eagle-Eye Hajj Monitors, says there is clear indication that 2014 Hajj exercise would be a great improvement over the successes achieved in 2013.
According to the NGO, it is possible if stakeholders engage in one form of pre-Hajj preparation exercise immediately after the post- mortem conference on 2013 exercise, by the Hajj apex body at the National mosque auditorium Abuja, on screening of prospective candidates for the 2014 exercise.
In statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator and National Secretary, Nurudeen Gasali and Umar Musa Yakasai in Abuja, the independent Hajj monitors said making pre-Hajj visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to cross the “Tees” and dot the “I’s” on issues such as transportation, accommodation procurement among others, for pilgrims, points to a more improved 2014 Hajj in 2013.
It said Kwara state is one of the few foremost states that have completed the screening of their intending pilgrims which ended on April 2014 with list of those successful pasted in the board’s premises the third day.
According to the statement, the exercise which was witnessed by its team of monitors including the National coordinator of the organisation was found to be peaceful, transparent, thorough and highly commendable.
It however noted that Hajj 2013 no doubt was a success story generally and Nigeria-wise, barring few challenges which were unavoidable as adjudged by international and local observers including its monitoring team and even the pilgrim themselves.
According to the statement, “the outcome of our organisation’s state-by-state assessment of performance by pilgrims in critical areas of the exercise, shown that 22 states that met the benchmark of its criteria in the area of pilgrims discipline and moral uprightness, respect for the laws of the host country, devotion to Ibadah.
“Others include zero tolerance for crimes, officials’ dedication to service and welfare of pilgrims, sanitation, luggage weight and flight schedules compliance, home camping and airlifting, sensitisation and awareness creation etc.”