The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has started preparation to move few Nigerian Pilgrims that could not make it to Madinah on arrival to the Kingdom, from Makkah to Madinah, for visitation to Prophet Holy City.
The Madinah Coordinator and the Acting Secretary to the commission, Alhaji Ahmad Maigari, said this in an interview in Makkah.
He said less than 100 of the about 60, 000 Nigerian pilgrims could not make it to Madinah, because they arrived Saudi Arabia on the eve of the commencement of the Hajj exercise, which necessitated moving them direct to Makkah from the Jeddah Airport.
He stated that the affected pilgrims were expected to be moved to Madinah between Wednesday and Thursday before they proceed to Jeddah for their departure to Nigeria in few days.
Maigari who expressed happiness over successful reception and hosting of all Nigerian pilgrims that landed in Madinah first, before the Hajj, and without any major incident, said all accommodation, feeding and transportation arrangements for the pilgrims yet to visit Madinah would be concluded between today and tomorrow for better reception and handling of their affairs on arrival at the Prophet City.
He complained on the atrocities of cheats, dupes and swindlers against the pilgrims in Madinah, a problems that has become a hard nut to crack, saying the most effective measure to tackle this cankerworm is for a thorough education and enlightenment of the pilgrims right from Nigeria, a responsibility, he said squarely lies with State Pilgrims Welfare Boards and Agencies.
He expressed displeasure over what he described as unacceptable conduct of some pilgrims boards and agencies that send hundreds of their pilgrims on a flight without a single official escort to guide and handle some fundamental issues and said this attitude is overstretching the few NAHCON staff on ground whose job was to provide complementary services.
He said it was unfortunate that every year, pilgrims boards and agencies have been advised to ensure that on every flight of about five hundred pilgrims, there should be at least five officials to coordinate, direct and stand in for the pilgrims when conditions demand that, yet most state authorities have turned deaf ears.
Maigari stated that if the boards and agencies heeded to these directives, most of the quagmire pilgrims found themselves in would have been avoided.