Saudi Arabia lifts quota on Muslim pilgrims
Succour is around the corner for intending pilgrims in Nigeria, as the Saudi Arabian government lifts the quota on number of pilgrims allowed to perform the yearly hajj rites.
The new development would give more Nigerians opportunity to perform the religious rites without limitations.
In view of this, the Media Awareness Initiative for Hajj (MAI-HAJJ) has congratulated the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), hajj stakeholders and the entire Muslim Ummah for having another opportunity to perform Hajj in a larger perspective.
The decision of the Saudi Arabian government according to Saudi Gazette Newspaper is that: “Saudi Arabia has decided to lift from this year the reduction in the quota of Hajj pilgrims imposed five years ago to ensure safety during the expansion of the Grand Mosque.
This, according to the MAI HAJJ, Public Relations Officer, Kabiru Yussuf, would help the Muslim Ummah throughout the globe to have opportunity to perform Hajj, especially Nigerians.
He said with this positive development, Nigerian Muslims would have more opportunity to buy hajj seats at ease in their determination to fulfill one of their religious obligations.
MAI-HAJJ urged the 36 states pilgrims welfare boards and Abuja to give priority to first timers, and take all necessary actions to checkmate the activities of those who would try to secure hajj seats through back door.
“We also commended the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board in its efforts not to entertain payment by proxy and bulk purchase of the forms by individual for the exercise. This action will put a stop to seats racketeering which for years denied many Nigerians opportunity to perform hajj due to exorbitant price cause by the so called racketeers,” he stated.
This measure by the FCT board will definitely ensure efficiency, transparency and safeguard against fraud in this year’s hajj operations especially the sale of the 2017 hajj forms to intending pilgrims.
The association charged all intending pilgrims to abide by NAHCON’s guidelines of having a guarantor either the chief Imam of his area, traditional ruler or a Senior Civil Servant of not less than Grade Level 12 as contained in the Guideline for the registration of 2017 pilgrimage released by the commission.
Female intending Pilgrims should remember that in line with Saudi Arabian government regulations, they can only be registered with their male guides (Muharram).