From Suleiman Idris in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for two days parley with their counterparts from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and representatives of states Muslim pilgrims welfare boards currently in Mecca on the basis of logistic arrangements for the transportation of pilgrims throughout the major activities of Hajj rites which begin on Friday this week and end on Tuesday next week.
The Vice President, Transport Management Team, Abubakar Banamaa explained that the meeting is necessary to strategize ahead of the journey and identify possible difficulties that should be addressed from the onset.
According to him, the logistics is for movement of pilgrims from Makkah to Mina, Mina to Arafat, Arafat to Musdalifah and from Musdalifah to Mina Camp for this year Hajj exercise.
He assured the gathering of effective service delivery to help pilgrims perform the rituals with comfort if only the stakeholders’ key into the planned arrangements as discussed in the meetings.
A demonstration of how pilgrims are expected to queue for boarding of busses in batches has been experimented by all the stakeholders while agreeing that pilgrims should remain under their tents while their officials provide a number of pilgrims that would fill available buses at a time as they move from Arafat to Musdalifah.
He further led the team on a tour of the areas to acquaint them with the pre-visit knowledge that would help in the proper planning in readiness for the challenges that may arise in between the movement of pilgrims from one point to another.
Abubakar Banamaa therefore encouraged various state coordinators to carry out awareness initiatives to guide the worshippers in religious and organizational aspects of the exercise.
The Vice President also appealed to the state officials to commence transportation of their Pilgrims very early to their various places in accordance to the designated date and allotted to them so as to avoid rowdiness and stampede
Meanwhile, the NAHCON representative, Dr. Aliu Tanko reiterated the need for all state officials to ensure no pilgrims strays aware from their sight to avoid incidents of missing persons in the cause of the exercise, an important component of the hajj rituals.