• News - North West - Kano
  • Updated: July 08, 2022

Kano: Intending Pilgrims Accuse Government Of Selling Hajj Seats

Kano: Intending Pilgrims Accuse Government Of Selling Hajj S

Some of the intending pilgrims repartriated from Saudi Arabia over fake documents

About 745 intending Kano pilgrims missed performing hajj this year after the last flight left them in Kano on Thursday.

Some of the angry intending pilgrims accuse Governor Ganduje, in connivance with other stakeholders sold their seats to higher-paying customers, making them lose their chance to perform the once-in-a-lifetime act of worship this year.

A few of them who spoke to newsmen on Thursday evening said he sold his farms, and paid about three million naira for about three years, just to be denied flight.

One very angry intending pilgrim, who was repatriated after being taken to Saudia over a fake visa said he would never forgive all those involved in the issuance of the fake visa.

The last flight for Kano pilgrims left the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) around 3:40 pm on Thursday for Saudi Arabia after picking up 200 intending pilgrims to join those from another state already in the aircraft, leaving behind 745 intending pilgrims, including the Executive Secretary of Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Muhammad Abba Danbatta and some directors of the board.

With hundreds of the intending pilgrims left stranded at the airport and hajj camp for days, Danbatta had faulted the last-minute disappointment on the failure of NAHCON to honour the rescue mission arrangement after the initial disappointment from Azman Airline, which led to an extension by the Saudi government.

At the Hajj Camp, Jibrin Abdu from Gezawa, who was one of those left behind, became the centre of attraction after he was sighted dressed in the haram white robe and declared that he had already started his pilgrimage at the camp.

“I have started already since we have all the facilities here and I will surely come back and complete it. I know how to do it.

"This is not my first time and will surely not be the last,” he said, adding that he sold his farmland just to go for the pilgrimage “but some unruly leaders made it impossible,” even as he accepted it was the will of God.

Aside from Malam Abdu, a woman, Suwaiba Sani alongside several others rained curses on “all those who have hands in our plight”, with the woman, who was lamenting aggressively, insisting she will not forgive all those that made it impossible for her and others not to make the pilgrimage.

Meanwhile, Jaiz Bank, which handled the hajj savings scheme for most of the intending pilgrims who could not make it to the holy land from Kano, had absolved itself of any culpability in the failed exercise.

An Executive Director with the bank, Alhaji Hassan, told the intending pilgrims that the bank paid N114.4million to Kano State Pilgrims Board and N583.6million to NAHCON being the total of the N2.4million each it collected from the 285 intending pilgrims that participated in the savings scheme.

He promised that the bank will kick-start the process of getting back the money for all those that were could not make the pilgrimage.

In addition to losses by individual companies, the government will have to cough out money to settle liabilities created by the untidy operation.

“There will be very messy reconciliation of the commission’s accounts. There is the issue of the Hajj Saving Scheme, then tour operators, outstanding pilgrims, regular pilgrims, and even the airlines.

"The government would be made to shoulder the liabilities,” he said.


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A'isha Ahmad
A'isha Ahmad

Kano based Nigerian  Broadcast journalist, writer, reseacher. You can reach out via [email protected]

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