Home News 2024 Hajj: You Are Responsible For Deaths Of Nigeria’s Pilgrims – Bago

2024 Hajj: You Are Responsible For Deaths Of Nigeria’s Pilgrims – Bago


..faults NAHCON’s operation in Saudi Arabia

Niger State Governor, Umaru Bago has faulted the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) over the perceived ill-treatment of Nigerian Pilgrims in Mecca, during the 2024 Hajj exercise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Governor Bago who appreciated the Saudia Arabia government for their hospitality and President Bola Tinubu for his efforts, just as he lamented that the NAHCON which is saddled with the responsibility of making sure that all pilgrims from the country performed the Hajj ritual comfortably failed to live up to it’s expected functions.

“If I assess the 2024 Hajj exercise, I will tell you that Nigeria has failed and continued to fail the pilgrims in terms of operations,” Governor Umaru Bago declared.

He said the feeding of Pilgrims in Medina, their accommodation in Medina, the tents in Muna and Arafat, the transportation both land and Air and medical workers handled by NAHCON hindered smooth operations of Hajj Ritual exercise, stressing that there is no country do that in the whole world.

He, therefore, called for the decentralisation of NAHCON activities, and appealed to the Federal Government to allow the States to make arrangements for some of the Hajj functions and make NAHCON to serve as Regulator and operator body.

The Governor however noted that over 100 pilgrims from Nigeria that died during the Hajj exercise was also as a result of NAHCON’s inability to carry out it’s functions proactively.

“In my own state,Niger, we lost two pilgrims in Medina and four in Muna due to heat waves, making six pilgrims but in Nigeria in total we lost over 100 pilgrims and that the reason I said the state should be able to screen it’s pilgrims and understand their health status and know how special to treat them too with underline health challenges” the Governor further stated .

Bago however appealed to the National Assembly, in Abuja to probe the subsidy funds given to NAHCON by Federal Government.

“There is a need for the National Assembly to probe the N90 billion fund given to NAHCON by the Federal Government and as a state Governor, I am calling on the committee of Northern Governors Forum(NGF) to scrap NAHCON because they are not living up to the expectations of Nigerians,”the Governor maintained.

He said the Federal Government is too large and busy to disturb itself with the Hajj issues, emphasizing that it is supposed to be the local governments responsibilities .

Governor Bago explained further that “State Government s supposed to organize the pilgrims get agents who will do the activities in a best way like other countries are doing”.

“The people may say because the Governors, Houses of Assemblies Speakers and other dignitaries in Nigeria’s inability to get accommodation in Muna and Mecca that is why we are calling for the change in the long narratives, insisting that “yes” imagining governors and speakers being stranded and have nowhere to sleep after paying such huge amounts of money to NAHCON, even with the N90 billion subsidy fund given to the body by the government.”

The Niger State Governor stressed that there is no reason why Hajj operations should last for one month when it can be run in two weeks and make people who paid N8 million to feed on $400 Dollars in one month, saying, “the act is ridiculous and inhuman”.

He advocated for private control of Hajj exercise and synergy between the states and local governments in the preparation of Hajj exercise and NAHCON being a control body, if it’s existence is necessary.


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