How NAHCON workers react to new chairman’s appointment

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NICON)
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON)

Workers at the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Tuesday expressed mixed feelings over the announcement of the nomination of a new Chairman and other board members of the commission.

President Muhammadu Buhari announced the appointment of Mallam Zikrullah Olakunle Hassan as the new chairman of the commission alongside 15 other board members.

Their appointments by President Buhari were received by the Senate for confirmation via a letter addressed to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and read at Tuesday’s plenary.

Until his nomination, Zikrullah Olakunle Hassan, a lawyer and the NAHCON Chairman-designate awaiting confirmation by the Senate is the Chairman of the Osun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, who also doubled as Amir-ul-Hajj of the state.

When Daily Trust visited the new NAHCON Headquarters at the Metro Plaza in Abuja, workers spoken to and who pleaded anonymity expressed mixed feelings over the development.

Majority of those spoke to by our reporter lauded the outgoing Chairman, Mallam Abdullah Muhammad Mukhtar, also a lawyer, for the record achievements during his tenure.

Some, however, said they were happy the controversies surrounding his tenure, especially the extension, after the expiration of his tenure, that saw him as acting Chairman of the commission and uncertainty of his appointment for a fresh tenure of four years.

The chairman was seeing arriving his office today at exactly 2.30pm. Later in the afternoon, he held a meeting with the management team of the commission.

This is coming on the heels of the call by some Nigerians including the Director and CEO of ITEC Consultancy Services, Mallam Abdulwakeel A. Abdulwahab; who urged President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, appoint a new board for NAHCON following the expiration of tenure of the incumbent Chairman and board members of the commission.

Mallam Abdulwahab made this known at the 28th National, State, Local Governments and other HAJJ Stakeholders Conference in Abuja.

The President’s letter to the Senate dated November 28, 2019, requesting the confirmation of appointment of the Chairman and Members of the NAHCON, was read during the commencement of today’s plenary by the President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

The letter reads: “Pursuant to Section 3(2) of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Act, 2006, I am pleased to forward for confirmation by the Senate the undercoated names of nominees for the positions of Chairman and Members of the National Hajj Commission.”

The names of appointees listed in the letter are: Zikrullah Olakunle Hassan, Chairman, Osun State, South West; Nura Hassan Yakassai, Executive Commissioner – Policy, Personnel, Management and Finance, Kano State, North West, and Sheikh Momoh Suleman Imonikhe, Executive Commissioner, Planning, Research, Statistics, Information and Library, Edo State, South South.

Also, Part-time Members are: Halimat Jibril, Niger State, North Central; Abba Jato, Borno State, North East; Garba Umar, Sokoto State, North West; Ibrahim Ogbonnia Amah, Ebonyi State, South East; Sadiq Oniyesaneyene Musa, Delta State, South South, and Akintunde Basirat Olayinka, Ogun State, South West.

Representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are: Shehu Dogo, Ministry of Aviation; Nura Abba Rimi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Rabi Bello Isa, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Zainab Ujudud Sherrif, Ministry of Health; Aminu Bako Yarima, Nigeria Immigration Service, and Ibrahim Ishaq Nuhu, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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