Independent Hajj Reporters IHR, a civil society organisation that reports hajj activities has faulted the position of the Oyo State Governor-Elect, Mr Seyi Makinde over his comments that he will not be bound to abide by the 2019 hajj preparations made by Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board that transcend beyond May 29th.
This was contained in a statement signed by its national coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammed
Mr Makinde had in letter to Governor Ajimobi complained about the actions of Chairman of Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, accusing him of ‘making 2019 hajj arrangement beyond May 29th, being the handing over date”
Part of Mr Makinde’s statement said “While the chairman and the board are still well within their rights to function in that capacity till the end of this outgoing administration, it is, however, unacceptable and mischievous for the board to be making long-term plans that are well beyond May 29, 2019 with regards to the coming hajj operations, as my administration will not be bound to accept any of these arrangements, including transportation, accommodation and welfare of Oyo State pilgrims for the coming hajj operations.
“Any action executed by the board that will continue after May 29 will be considered to have been initiated in bad faith.
In their reaction, the civil society said that “Mr Makinde should understand that preparations and arrangements of accommodations, transportation and other logistics for hajj exercise are being guided by hajj calendar of events as issued by Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. This is so because Hajj activities are programmed towards Arafat day that cannot be changed by worldly events like May 29th handing over date.
“Consequently, The national hajj commission of Nigeria being the apex hajj regulating body domesticated this hajj calendar of events to guide States Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board’s plans and preparations towards 2019 hajj. More importantly, the deadline issued by hajj authority stipulated that all arrangements for 2019 hajj pilgrim’s accommodations and transportations cannot go beyond the date of commencement of Ramadan which is 6th of May 2019.
The statement said that “Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims Board like other state pilgrims boards followed Nigeria hajj calendar.
“Oyo is not the only state where a new administration is taking over the government machinery. States like Gombe, Imo and Kwara will be handing over to a different political party and we have not heard any complain from the winners of election in these states as regards arrangement for 2019 hajj.
“We advise Mr Makinde not to take any action that will derail 2019 hajj whenever he takes over the reign of power so as not to make hajj difficult for 2019 intending pilgrims from Oyo state.