With just less than 10 days from the commencement of this year’s Hajj exercise, it is imperative to examine the performance of the coordinating body – National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) thus far in some of the critical aspect of Hajj operations.
Since the Commission kicked started this year’s flight with the successful conduct of the inaugural flight at Umar Musa Yar ‘Adua, Airport, Katsina on the 10thJuly,the commission has left no one in doubt that it’s prepared and committed to discharging one of its onerous responsibilities of having uninterrupted airlift of Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia timely and promptly. In this connection, the approved carriers namely Max Air Medview and Flynas have been the keys to the success of the operation.
With the deployment of arrays of their wide -bodied aircraft to ferry pilgrims in their numbers to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was not surprising that with about 20 days to the closure of the Saudi airspace, the three “musketeers ” have jointly ferried over 10.000pilgrims to either Jeddah or Medina in such a little space of time. One can succinctly describe the performance and act of the airlines as “Bad Boy, Gone Good “.
If the reports and assessment of the pilgrims ,state officials and the neutrals are anything to go by, then the commission deserves or can be rated excellent in the area of housing provided to the pilgrims in Medina especially, where the commission holds the ace.
The serene, and hospitable accommodation in notable and famous 5 -Star hotels in the sanctuary City has been the best thing to have happened to the country’s contingents in recent decade which has drawn envy from the otherwise famous Hajj countries of the world.
Here the pilgrims literally experience the world of glamour and opulence many had never come across in terms of modern facilities.
Indeed, so far all Nigerian pilgrims are being accommodated in 5-Star hotels in the exclusive Markaziyah Area of Madina.
NAHCON has focused on delivery of standard feeding arrangement for the pilgrims. Despite the difficulty involved in feeding of multitude, the commission has done tremendously well in providing both continental and local dishes to the pilgrims with the staff of the commission monitoring and supervising feeding arrangement from the preparatory stage up to the final consumption. No wonder, many of the pilgrims were reluctant to leave Madina due to the services being enjoyed. .
Staff /State Officials
In fact, one of the keys to the outstanding success recorded so far in the life of Hajj 2019 is the commitment of the staff in the various aspects of the operations. The officials have been channelling their passion for the operation by ensuring that pilgrims get the right attention, information and services. Aside this time the synergy and chemistry between NAHCON and state officials. Unlike previously most of the airlifted pilgrims are accompanied by officials right from the first flight to the last one.
Though there is still a lot of business to be done if the objective of Hajj Mabrur is to be achieved, but thus far, the commission can roll out the cymbals and like Agama lizard nod it’s head in praise even if no one will do so.
Ubandawaki is of the Information and Publication Unit of NAHCON