2 options for Nigerian pilgrims as Saudi cancels int’l hajj

2 options for Nigerian pilgrims as Saudi cancels int’l hajj

Sequel to the announcement on Monday by the Saudi government that only residents of the Kingdom will perform this year’s hajj, intending Nigerian pilgrims have two options.




The options, according to the chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Barr. Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, are to either get a refund or leave their money for next year’s hajj.

Hassan told Daily Trust that: “Our message for intending pilgrims is that they have one or two options: they will get their refund or have the option of leaving the money for next year’s hajj.”

Hajj and Umrah tour operators told Daily Trust they accepted the Saudi authorities’ decision as the will of God.

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The Arab News quoted the Kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah as saying yesterday that this years’ hajj would take place next month, but a “very limited” number of pilgrims would be allowed to take part.

The ministry explained that the decision was taken due to the ongoing threat from the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministry added that the decision was also to preserve “global public health”.

It said pilgrims taking part would be from various nationalities but must already reside in Saudi Arabia.

The ministry said the decision had been made in light of continuation of the pandemic and the risks of coronavirus spreading in crowded spaces and large gatherings.

“A very limited number of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in Saudi Arabia, would be able to perform it.

“This decision is taken to ensure hajj is performed in a safe manner from a public health perspective while observing all preventative measures and the necessary social distancing protocols,” the ministry said.

Vice-Chairman, Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (AHUON), South-West Zone, Alhaji Qasim Alabi, said: “We should not think about the profit ,but we should consider the health of the people.

“As businessmen, we take solace and succour in what Allah has planned.”

A former Amirul Hajj of Lagos State and immediate past Commissioner for Home Affairs, Abdul Hakeem Abdullateef said it was in the best interest of public health to cancel Hajj for international pilgrims.

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