Attention of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria ( NAHCON) was drawn to a protest in Aminu Kano Airport by intending pilgrims of some Private Tour Operators (PTO) who could not be airlifted to Saudi Arabia for 2019 Hajj.
While the Commission empathizes with the affected pilgrims, NAHCON regrets the situation in which the innocent pilgrims found themselves.
It should be noted that, two weeks before commencement of airlift by PTOs, NAHCON had sent a circular to all the PTOs requesting any of them having challenges to contact NAHCON immediately so that the issue can be addressed to forestall any drawbacks. However, even as at last minute of 2019 airlift, no complaint was received by the Commission in respect of the said circular.
NAHCON therefore assures the affected pilgrims that full investigation will be carried out into the matter to establish reasons why they were not airlifted to the Holy Land and consequently seek for justice on their behalf. The pilgrims are urged to write formal complaints to the Commission stating the affected PTO they paid their fares to, the total amount paid, the category of package they paid for and the agreement they signed for. These pieces of information should be backed by necessary documents to enable the Commission investigate and establish the truth of the matter.
It must be recalled that the Commission had earlier advertised names of licensed PTOs and had consistently warned pilgrims not to engage services of any unrecognized PTO in order not to fall victim of unprofessionalism.
Meanwhile, the Commission solicits forbearance of the affected pilgrims who had high hopes of participating in the 2019 Hajj exercise. NAHCON had in the past carried out rescue operations for PTO pilgrims that would have faced the same fate yet, due to space of time left to the deadline, the Commission had the chance of deploying an aircraft to salvage the situation which is not the same this time, the unfortunate situation was brought to the Commission’s notice belatedly.
Fatima Sanda Usara.
Head public affairs.