Hajj: Lagos wants NAHCON address challenges ahead of 2025 pilgrimage

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 Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr Ibrahim Layode, has called on the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to meet with stakeholders to find solutions to pilgrims’ challenges.

Layode made the call during a press conference  in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, according to a statement by an Assistant Director of Public Affairs, Lagos State Welfare Pilgrims Board, Mr Taofeek Lawal.

The commissioner said that most of the challenges encountered during 2024 Hajj were from  inadequacies of the commission.

He said that the South West  was not pleased with food service at Mina as well as accommodation provided in Makkah.

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“We had a lot of challenges, and most of them are from NAHCON.

“The caterer selected to provide meals for the state’s pilgrims was using his own discretion to select menu that was not favourable to the people of the South West.

“Pilgrims almost protested at Mina, and many of them rejected the meals served and chose to go and buy food from vendors.

“Even the accommodation provided for Lagos pilgrims in Makkah was not up to standards,” he said.

The official said that NAHCON admitted that there were challenges during the Hajj.

He, however, said that in spite of the challenges, ‘you can’t throw away the baby with the bath water’.

The commissioner  called on stakeholders to join hands with NAHCON to address the challenges  ahead of 2025 Hajj.

He thanked pilgrims from Lagos State for patience and praised  the state  Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu,  and his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, for huge support.

He said that the state government provided the shortfall of the Basic Travel Allowance to the pilgrims and offset the cost of rams, amongst other kind gestures.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 926 of 1,869 Muslim pilgrims from Lagos State  have so far returned from the 2024 Hajj. (NAN)

By Aderonke Ojediran

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