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Civil society urges Senate to reconstitute adhoc panel on Hajj

Independent Hajj Reporters has urged the senate to reconstitute the adhoc committee on pilgrims accommodation, logistics onshore and offshore activities to enable it properly improve Hajj operations in the country.

The adhoc committee, headed by Senator Adamu Aliero (Kebbi, APC) had a week before the senate went on recess presented its report to the plenary.

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A statement signed by the civil society’s national coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammad and publicity secretary, Abubakar Mahmoud, said the senate panel report was refuted by almost all Hajj stakeholders in the country.

“The report of the senate panel has already been  discredited by virtually all hajj stakeholders,” the statement said.

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“The first person to find fault with the report of the Aliero committee is the Nigerian consul- general to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Mr Mohammed Yunusa, who raised serious integrity questions on the report.

Mr Yunusa, in a telephone interview published by an online medium on October 22, said “the Adamu Aliero-led committee only concocted lies” aimed at disparaging the chairman of NAHCON, Abdullahi Mohammed.”

The ambassador also said the panel did not meet with a single Saudi organisation involved in Hajj affairs during their visit to Saudi Arabia

“How can you say you are investigating (the) conduct of Hajj operations and officials? You came all the way to Saudi Arabia and refused to meet with the ministry of Hajj, the Adilla in Madinah, hotel owners, caterers, car syndicate and Muassassa,” the diplomat said.

The statement said the Daily Trust newspaper of October 29, reported the chairman of forum of states pilgrims boards, Alhaji Abubakar S. Pawa Dambo, as saying “what the Aliero committee said in its report was only their own perception and imagination”

He added in the report that it was unfair for the Aliero committee to draw such wrong conclusion even though it never deem it fit to invite them during the sittings.

The civil society said “more worrisome to us are the counter allegations made by NAHCON against the findings of the committee that, “the Adhoc Committee had invited one IG Wala to testify before it on matters that are currently subject of litigation before two courts with suit Nos FCT/HC/CV/3018/17 and CR/96/18.”

Independent Hajj Reporters said the senate panel made a counter-recommendation regarding a Saudi Service Provider on a matter in which there is a ruling by a Saudi Court in Makkah on 5th Muharram 1439.

The civil society said “we are therefore, calling on the Senate to constitute another adhoc committee on hajj that will genuinely investigate the activities of NAHCON, State pilgrims boards, tour Operators and other hajj stakeholders with a view to making hajj a memorable spiritual journey for Nigerian Muslims.”

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