Don’t play politics in Mecca, Nigerian Pilgrims warned



Pilgrims boarding plane

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), on Saturday in Makkah, warned Nigerian pilgrims and their officials against displaying political symbols during the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

NAHCON Chairman Abdullahi Muhktar sounded the warning at pre-Arafat meeting with Hajj stakeholders mostly chairmen of state pilgrims boards and tour operators.

“No political activities here; no banners, governors’ pictures or any political figure is not allowed because the authorities would take exception to it.

“Officials and your operators must not allow hanging, pasting and mounting of political or election materials,” he warned.

He also cautioned that any illegal tour operator intercepted in the Holy land would be treated according to the law.

Muhktar added that any violation of Saudi’s laws would tarnish Nigeria’s image, saying that all registered pilgrims had been successfully evacuated for Hajj.

The NAHCON boss announced that some reforms would be undertaken during the next Hajj.

According to him, the commission is determined to resolve challenges of pilgrims’ Basic Traveling Allowance as future remittance of fares would include the BTA.

He warned the state boards against refusal to provide their ambulances and other vehicles for operational purposes, adding that such act would attract sanctions resulting to revocation of the vehicles’ particulars.

Muhktar said NAHCON had created help lines for pilgrims to alleviate their sufferings, adding that the lines were being manned on 24 hours basis.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Nigerian pilgrims have begun movement to Mina tents where they are expected to continue the Hajj rites.

They will spend the night in Mina in sober reflection and prayers, preparatory to their departure in the early hours of the following day to Mount Arafah.

It is a granite hill on the plains of Arafah, located 20 kilometres to the east of Makkah and referred to as the Mount of Mercy (Jabal ar Rahmah)



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