The Media Awareness Initiative for Hajj (MAI-HAJJ) has congratulated the National Hajj commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in particular, Hajj stakeholders and the entire Muslim Ummah for having another opportunity to perform Hajj in a larger perspective following the decision of Saudi Arabian government to lift the cut in Hajj quota.

MAI-HAJI described the decision of the Saudi Arabian government as reported by Saudi Gazette Newspaper 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 as a positive development.
The group in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Kabiru Yusuf, said that, “This would help the Muslim Ummah throughout the globe to have opportunity to perform Hajj, especially Nigerians, because with this positive development, Nigerian Muslims will have more opportunity to buy hajj seats at ease in their determination to fulfil 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.

The statement reads; “We also commended the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board in its efforts not 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.

“By introducing 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).”

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