Jonathan Orders ‘Thorough Post-Mortem’ on Hajj Airlift Operations



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President Goodluck Jonathan has  ordered a ‘thorough post- mortem’ on the crisis which rocked this year’s hajj airlift  operations.The president said this in a statement extending his greetings and felicitation  to Muslims at the Eid -el- Kabir festival.

“I extend warm greetings and felicitations to you all as we celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival. I also congratulate all Nigerians who successfully undertook the Hajj this year despite the unforeseen difficulties which developed over the issue of male companions for some of our female pilgrims.Although the problem was eventually resolved with the positive intervention of the Federal Government, I have ordered a thorough post- mortem of the incident with a view to ensuring that our Hajj airlift operations are never disrupted by  such problems in future and that no Nigerian pilgrim is ever subjected to such traumatic experience in the Holy Land again” the president said.

This year’s hajj airlift   operations were  marred by the detention  about 1000 Nigerian female pilgrims for lack of male companions  (Muharram).Some of the pilgrims were actually deported back to Nigeria by the Saudi Authorities.It took some deft diplomatic manoeuvres to overcome the crisis.Though SpeakerAminu Tambuwal who met with Saudi Authorities  said the deported pilgrims could return to Saudi Arabia, there were further reports of deportations afterward.It is not quite clear now if all the deported pilgrims actually returned to perform this year’s hajj.

President Jonathan also said the sallah period should be a period for Nigerians to reflect on the nation’s challenges. “I believe therefore that we should all seize the opportunity of the Sallah season and the public holidays to reflect on how we can bring the ideals and virtues of our religious beliefs to bear on the positive resolution of the many challenges facing us as a nation.”

Read the full text of Jonathan’s statement below:

STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN EID-EL-KABIR MESSAGE TO NIGERIANS FROM GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR, PRESIDENT, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

My Dear Compatriots,

I extend warm greetings and felicitations to you all as we celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival.

I also congratulate all Nigerians who successfully undertook the Hajj this year despite the unforeseen difficulties which developed over the issue of male companions for some of our female pilgrims.

Although the problem was eventually resolved with the positive intervention of the Federal Government, I have ordered a thorough post mortem of the incident with a view to ensuring that our Hajj airlift operations are never disrupted by  such problems in future and that no Nigerian pilgrim is ever subjected to such traumatic experience in the Holy Land again.

Nigerians remain a people of great faith with the vast majority of our people professing belief in God either as Muslims or Christians.

I believe therefore that we should all seize the opportunity of the Sallah season and the public holidays to reflect on how we can bring the ideals and virtues of our religious beliefs to bear on the positive resolution of the many challenges facing us as a nation.

There can be no doubt that we will make faster progress towards the attainment of developmental objectives  as a nation if we all resolve to do more to live up to the highest ideals of our religious beliefs including the fear of God, willingness to make personal sacrifices for the collective good, selfless service, respect for laws and constituted authorities, honesty, justice, equity, fairness, dutifulness, peace and harmonious co-existence with others.

My administration will continue to give dedicated, committed, focused and purposeful leadership towards overcoming old and emerging challenges before the nation.

While our doors remain open for constructive engagement and dialogue with all Nigerians, we shall continue to aggressively implement all measures deemed necessary for the restoration and maintenance of peace in all parts of the country.

As we celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir, let us all remember the plight of the many thousands of our compatriots who have been displaced by the floods which recently devastated many communities across the nation and resolve to contribute whatever we can to ameliorate their suffering.

I have already announced a relief package of close to N18 billion and constituted a national committee to raise more funds to help victims of the floods.

In the true spirit of our major religions which enjoin us to be generous to the needy, I urge all Nigerians who can do so, to donate munificently to the national relief fund for affected persons and communities.

We will monitor the disbursement and utilization of the funds released by the Federal Government and those raised by the National Committee very closely to ensure that they are judiciously and expeditiously expended for the benefit of the flood victims.

May God bless and reward all who help the flood victims.

I wish all Nigerians who undertook the Hajj a safe journey back home.

Happy Sallah to all Nigerians.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR

President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

October 25, 2012

 

 

 


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