The Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board said on Friday that 995 slots have been allocated to the state by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), for the 2019 hajj exercise. The board chairman, Alhaji Taofeek Akewugbagold, disclosed this in Ibadan in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), while explaining the level of preparations for the 2019 hajj.
He said the turnout of intending pilgrims from the state for the 2019 hajj was encouraging, and that over 500 intending pilgrims have so far registered and made payments for the exercise. According to him, some intending pilgrims were skeptical that the change in government in the state might affect the pilgrimage policy.
He further said that some private operators have been spreading false information by telling pilgrims not to pay into the board’s account because Akewugbagold would no longer be in office and pilgrims’ money may be unaccounted for. He said the private operators are spreading falsehood in order to secure high patronage. So, he assured intending pilgrims not to nurse any fear concerning the change in government and to pay on time, because government is a continuum.
Akewugbagold said the board will commence inoculation, blood screening and orientation for intending pilgrims by the first week of April, for them to know what was expected of them in Saudi Arabia. “By May 20, everything needed to be done on this year’s hajj, should have been perfected based on the NAHCON time table, and I am trying to perfect it to make it easier for the incoming board,” he said