By Salisu Sani-Idris
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has expressed dissatisfaction over inadequate tents for Nigerian pilgrims at Muna by the Saudi Company vested with the responsibility of securing enough facility in the area.
The Chairman of NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, stated this while answering questions from journalists after inspecting the situation at Muna on Monday in Makkah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Hassan also said that the commission was was not pleased with the feeding arrangement which, he said, the meals were inadequate and were served late to the pilgrims.
He said NAHCON envisaged that the problem was most likely to occur and earlier suggested that the commission be involved, but the Saudi authorities concerned insisted they had a mega kitchen and about three alternate plans to deliver to the satisfaction of all.
Hassan revealed that the commission had already notified the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah over the Nigerian plight over tents and feeding.
According to him, they were scheduled to meet later to night to review situations on ground and chart a cause on how to solve the problems encountered so far.
Hassan further stated that there has been a standing rule that only satisfactory services provided would be charged and paid for, while refunds were made for those poorly handled.
“However, pilgrims paid not to be refunded, but to have the comfort to worship Allah with ease,” said the chairman.
He said NAHCON would insist and press for a serious, meaningful and satisfactory improvement within the shortest possible time, so that Nigerian pilgrims would conclude their Hajj rituals with ease.
On the condition of the pilgrims generally, the NAHCON boss expressed delight that they were on high spirit despite the unexpected challenges they are contending with in the meantime.
“I have seen people happy only because they are people of faith, we have seen people who are totally not happy on two scores.
“Number one, obviously the tent of the camp is totally unsatisfactory, and I must tell you the camp is unsatisfactory at tent ‘C’ where the majority of the pilgrims are.
“So also is the same situation at the VIP tent. All of these facilities were paid for, but obviously the provision made were far little compared to the number of pilgrims,” Hassan said.
The chairman noted that: “Apart from the number of tents, it is also clear that food has not been adequate and also has not been timely.
“The issue of tent is exclusive to Saudi Arabian authority we have no way to expand or to contract it but we have their understanding that is enough for all.
“I must say that we are very disappointed but in the end quite a number of pilgrims were left to stay outside the camp.” (NAN)
Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola