Yobe state government has suspended the traditional Amir Hajj team for this year hajj rites in Saudi Arabia.
Chairman of Muslim pilgrim commission, Alhaji Ibrahim Al’arab who disclosed this said the essence was to save cost in the face of hard economic realities.
Speaking to newsmen in Damaturu the Yobe state capital, he said that the development is due to paucity of funds noting “we need to save costs, the Leadership newspaper reports.
According to him, 1,800 intending pilgrims had paid their fares fully out of 2,231 seats allocated to the state for this year hajj.
He said the commission could not exhaust its allocation like other states due to the economic crunch facing the state and country in general.
Al,Arab said that the first flight from the state which was initially scheduled for Friday, was delayed due to non availability of Basic Travelling Allowance (BTA) for the intending pilgrims.
He added that “Let me used this medium to inform all intending pilgrims that we are yet to receive BTA from the Central Bank of Nigeria, which is very crucial to the pilgrims at all the time”.
He said the state government has provided enough accommodation, adding that the commission has acquired Hotel close to the holy mosque to enable pilgrims observe daily prayers at the grand mosque.
He appealed to the 1,800 intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state and country in general by adhering to the Saudi Arabian rules in the holy land, during and after the hajj.
Al’arab however, assured of the commitment of the commission to the welfare of pilgrims from the state to Saudi Arabia and back home.