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Hajj: Guide your pilgrims on acts of worship – S/Arabia appeals



The cleric, who made the appeal in Madinah during a meeting with countries whose pilgrims are in Saudi Arabia for the 2019 Hajj, said that the main reason of the pilgrims’ visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) was not to be involved in any form of political activity.

The Madinah office of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) quoted the Saudi official saying this in a statement in Madinah on Wednesday.

The Sheikh reaffirmed the commitment of KSA to give equal opportunity to all Muslims to perform Hajj once they comply with Saudi rules and regulations.

According to him, such rules and regulations are normally sourced from Islamic jurisprudence (Shari’ah).

The top official also admonished all pilgrims to respect the supremacy of Saudi aligned school of thought, once in the Holy land.

According to him, rulings under the Saudi support school of thought take precedence on general activities over those of other countries or individuals while in the Kingdom.

He further enjoined pilgrims to project the good image of their countries and urged representatives of the Hajj missions to extend goodwill message of Custodian of the two Holy Mosques to their respective pilgrims.

Meanwhile, 19,081 pilgrims from Nigeria have so far arrived Madinah as at Wednesday, according to NAHCON.

Edited by Isaac Aregbesola/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Hajj: NAHCON charges contractors to speed up work



The Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikrullah  Hassan, on Wednesday  charged contractors handling various Hajj projects to intensify efforts toward completion.

Hassan gave the directive at a meeting with contractors handling various Hajj Development Levy Projects to assess  the level of work accomplished so far, according to the Head of Public Affairs, NAHCON, Fatima Usara.

Usara said in a statement in Abuja that the meeting was aimed at assessing the level of work with a view to speeding up work at the sites.

 The spokesperson said that the meeting was to determine if there were any circumstances hindering completion of the projects.

“The constructions include   hotel accommodation for camping of intending pilgrims before travelling, and construction of clinics, event centres, mosques and perimeter fencing.

” Work at  several sites in all the geopolitical zones are  at advanced levels while some have been completed,”  Usara said. .

Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Indonesia tells Hajj pilgrims to stay home amid COVID-19 uncertainty



More than 200,000 Indonesians hoping to attend the Hajj in Saudi Arabia this year have had their plans cancelled by the government amid lack of certainty because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Saudi authorities have not yet given access to pilgrims from any country,’’ Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi said on Tuesday.

“Because of that, we won’t have enough time to prepare, especially in terms of the protection of the pilgrims,’’ he told an online news conference.

Indonesia has a Hajj quota of 221,000 pilgrims for this year, according to the government.

The Hajj is due in late July this year, but the kingdom has not yet announced whether it will be called it off.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia began the gradual reopening of the prophet Mohammed’s mosque in the city of Medina, one of Islam’s two holiest sites, two months after it was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since late February, Saudi Arabia has suspended the Muslim Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Indonesia recorded 609 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the national tally to 27,549, the country’s COVID-19 task force spokesperson Achmad Yurianto said.

The death toll rose to 1,663, after 22 additional deaths were reported overnight.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide (NAN)



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Hajj 2020: Kwara pilgrims board allays fear of cancellation



The Kwara Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board  has allayed fears of prospective pilgrims on cancellation for this year’s Hajj (pilgrimage) to Saudi Arabia.

The board is reacting to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has paralysed socioeconomic and religious activities worldwide.

Alhaji Mohammed Jimoh, the Executive Secretary of the board, gave this indication during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria NAN in llorin on Wednesday.

According to him, the Saudi Arabia Authority nor the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria are yet to make any pronouncement on the cancellation of 2020 Hajj exercise.

The Saudi Arabian Government and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria have not make any official pronouncements on the cancellation of the 2020 hajj exercise,” he said.

The executive secretary therefore expressed optimism on the possibility of conducting the 2020 Hajj.

Jimoh therefore urged all intending pilgrims from the state for 2020 exercise not to lose hope of performing their spiritual retreat.

He gave assured that the board would not relent at giving current, timely and accurate information regarding the 2020 pilgrimage to give the intending pilgrims first hand information.

The executive scribe also advised the intending pilgrims and entire Muslims to intensify prayers to Almighty Allah to bail Nigeria and the whole world out of the of COVID-19 protracted crisis.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Scholar urges Muslims to use Hajj, Umrah fare to feed poor



Prof. AbdurRazaq Alaro, a Professor of Islamic Law at the University of Ilorin, has urged Muslims to substitute the money meant for Hajj and Umrah to feed the poor and needy in Nigeria.

Alaro, who gave the advice while speaking with newsmen in Ilorin on Monday, called on all privileged Muslims to take advantage of Ramadan in reaching out to the needy.

He said doing so would attract bountiful rewards than performing this year’s Umrah or Hajj.

Alaro urged them to feed the needy from the money they had reserved to cover up for this year’s Umrah, pointing out that “feeding the needy attracts more bountiful reward than performing this year’s Umrah”.

The don said that the country was full of people who were hungry as a result of the lockdown.

He stressed that most people live from hand to mouth even before the lockdown as they depended on daily paid job and never expected the lockdown to last this long.

“It is a good act if you have been blessed and don’t be miserly. One of those things one has to wish he does is Ibadah of Islam.

“One of the Ibadah of Islam is going on Hajj and Umrah; Hajj is compulsory to some scholars as well as Umrah.

“But it is only supposed to be performed once in a lifetime as subsequent ones are regarded as voluntary but has lots of bountiful rewards.

“This is a very lucrative opportunity. Please look within your neighbourhood and extend your hands of support to orphans, widows, your relatives both nuclear and extended.

“Buy them food, give them money this period and expect a bountiful reward to accompany this act,” he said.

Alaro observed that this year’s Umrah would not be performed due to the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.

He disclosed that the two holy Mosques in Makka and Madina had been shut down as people were instructed to pray at home.

The scholar, however, admonished wealthy Muslims to remain focused as the reward of this year’s Umrah was not lost.

“You can follow Ibn Mubarak’s statement that we’ll receive a more bountiful reward than performing this year’s Umrah if we feed the needy and perform Umrah another year.

“And by the grace of Allah, may this pandemic end very soon,” he prayed.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Hajj: Board urges NIS to address E-Passport challenges



Gombe Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (MPWB) has called on the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to address the challenges in obtaining E-Passport during Hajj operation.

Alhaji Sa’adu Hassan, Executive Secretary of the board, made the call during a familiarisation visit by the newly posted NIS Comptroller, Cordolla Goewam, on Tuesday in Gombe.

Hassan said that MPWB was experiencing lots of challenges in getting passport which needed to be addressed to have successful pilgrimage.

He said he was delighted over the visit and promised to work with NIS for a hitch free exercise.

”The  door is always open to receive advice. We will partner with any organisation toward hitch free exercise in the state,” Hassan said.

In her response, Goewam said that the visit was to familiarise herself with the staff in discharging her duties in the state.

She solicited for the support and cooperation of the Board in discharging her responsibility in the state.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Kaduna Hajj board  boss  is dead 



The Overseer, Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Malam Sani Musa, has died in a motor accident along Kaduna-Abuja highway.

The Board Public Relation Officer, Malam Salisu Anchau, confirmed the incident to the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Kaduna.

Anchau said the accident occurred at about 10:30 am along Kaduna-Abuja highway.

He said that deceased would be buried after funeral prayers to be held by 5:30 pm at Sardauna Memorial College Kaduna.

NAN report that late Musa was appointed by Gov. Nasir El-Rufia as Overseer of the board on January 12, 2020. 

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Maharazu Ahmed

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2020 Hajj: Board plans orientation programme for FCT intending pilgrims



The FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, says it plans to commence first phase of its education and orientation programme for intending pilgrims for 2020 Hajj on Saturday, March 21, 2020.

Malam Muhammad Aliyu, spokesperson for the board, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Aliyu said that Islamic scholars have already been mobilised for the programme scheduled for Permanent Hajj Camp at Basan Jiwa near Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

He explained that the programme would be conducted in phases to ensure that intending pilgrims were well exposed on Hajj rites and new policies of Saudi Arabia and National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

Aliyu advised intending pilgrims resident at the territory to participate in all programmes organised by the board aimed at assisting them to attain acceptable Hajj.

He warned intending pilgrims who were yet to return their application forms or other documents to do so to enable the board commence the process of getting their travel documents.

He also advised intending pilgrims particularly the first timers, to take advantage of the programme to enhance their Islamic knowledge on Hajj rites.

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Ali Baba-Inuwa


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COVIC-19: Hajj, Umrah operators records losses – Official



The Association for Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria, says it has recorded losses sequel to the suspension of pilgrimage by the Saudi authorities occassioed by coronavirus crisis.

Abdul’Aziz Halliru, Kano Zonal Chairman of the association, told newsmen on Tuesday in Kano that the pandemic negatively affected their operations and exposed its members to immeasurable loss.

Halliru called on the Federal Government to expand the scope of the N50 billion palliative  programme initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the economy.

Citing the recent suspension of flights to Saudi Arabia, the chairman noted that members of the association suffered loss running into millions of dollars.

Halliru said in view of their contributions to the social and economic development of the country there is the need to involve them in various interventions initiated by the apex bank.

Nigeria News Agency reports that CBN has initiated a N50 billion facility to support agricultural enterprises, businesses, manufacturing, tourism and other sectors of the economy affected by the pandemic

He said: “we have gone through the CBN N50 billion incentive offer, but we are not all that optimistic of benefitting from it because we have not been consulted.

“The Federal Government should consider our members because we are the worse hit by coronavirus crisis.

“When policies like this are made, our members should be captured considering the amount of turnover and revenue we generate for the Federal Government through our business”.

He expressed happiness over the emergence of a new management of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), adding that they would work with the new leadership to facili smooth airlift of pilgrims to the Holy Land.

“We thank God that the new leadership of NAHCON, it came at a time when we have all the challenges and they have agreed to work with us. We are ready to give them maximum support and cooperation.

“We have held meetings with NAHCON and we have seen a new face that comes with new ideas; and we are ready to work with them,” he said.

He, however, urged pilgrims who had registered before the suspension of the Hajj exercise by Saudi authorities not to panic as measures have been put in place to ensure that their expenses are protected.

“Effective measures are put in place to ensure that those who have booked flights with our members that they are not going to lose their money.

“Once the suspension is lifted, they will make use of their tickets. We are working round the clock to ensure that they will be duly compensated and we are happy that the Saudi authorities are cooperating with us in this regard,” he added

Edited By: Rabiu Sani Ali

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Argungu Fishing Festival: man with biggest catch gets N10m, 2 cars, Hajj seats



Malam Abubakar Ya’u from Augie Local Government Area of Kebbi on Saturday got N10 million, two new cars and two Hajj seats for catching the biggest fish weighing 78 kilogramme at the 2020 Argungu fishing festival.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Ya’u’s catch was adjudged the best among the fishes caught by more than 50,000 fishermen that participated in the annual cultural festival held in Kebbi State.

Malam Bala Yahaya-Bagaye clinched the second position with his fish that weighed 75 kilogramme, while Malam Maiwake Sani came third for catching a fish weighing 70 kilogramme.

NAN reports that the Chairman, Northern Governors Forum, Gov. Simon Lalong, donated N3 million to the first position, N2 million to the second position, while N1 million went to the fisherman that clinched the third position.

Dr Hassan Bello, Executive Secretarfy, Nigeria Shippers Council, presented N1 million to the first position, N750,000 to the second position, and N500,000 to the third.

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal donated N3 million, N2 million and N1 million to the first, second and third positions respectively, and a Hajj seat for the third position.

West African Cotton Company Limited (WACOT) donated a new car, N1 million and Hajj seat to first position, while Dr Zainab Bagudu, wife of Kebbi State Governor, also donated a brand new car to him.

NAN reports that Maltina Nigeria Limited donated KEKE NAPEP and a motorcycles for the second and third prize winners respectively.

Speaking at the occasion, the Special Guest of Honour and the Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawal saic that the festival was a demonstration of Nigeria’s rich culture.

“When I looked at the fishing pond, I said ‘oh God we are blessed’; what we only need is for us to harness the resources that we are endowed with in this country.

“The history of the festival is long, dating back to 1934. I learnt that the celebration could not hold for over 10 years due to insecurity.

“We have to thank God for making it possible and commend our armed forces for their efforts to secure of our nation.

“We will not get tired of making sure that you have a good working environment.

“This is an international event that drew people from neighbouring countries; this is a bond that must be sustained.”

Lawan lamented the number of out-of-school children, especially in Northern Nigeria, and called for proper action to reduce the menace.

While congratulating the winners, the Senate President urged those who did not win not to be discouraged, urging them to redouble efforts for a more competitive challenge in subsequent years.

He announced a donation of N5 million to be shared among all participants to give all a sense of belonging.

Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State described the event as “historic and worthy of celebration” by people of the state and beyond.

“It is a celebration of historic people; we must celebrate what unites us more than what divides us.

“Today, we are happy to host many dignitaries who converged here to celebrate with us.

“It is a celebration of equitable competition where fishermen come from all over  both from within and outside Nigeria. This certainly is a symbol of unity. This is a challenge for all of us as Nigerians.

“As people of Kebbi, we are very proud to have you here and we pray Almighty God will take each one of you back home safely,” he said.

Earlier in a welcome address, the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sama’la Mera, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for paving way for relative peace that culminated into organising the fishing festival.

He also appreciated the state governor and all others who contributed towards ensuring the success of the event, especially the Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawal, the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr Sa’ad Abubakar III, GSM operators and others sponsors.

He said: “We have been waiting for this event for the past 10 years. We are grateful to Almighty God for making it possible for us to witness the 60th event.”

The Nigeria News Agency reports that over 50,000 fishermen participated in the “Grand Finale” of the 2020 Argungu International Fishing Festival.

NAN also reports that the festival drew dignitaries from far and near.

Dignitaries at the occasion included the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Justice, Alhaji Abubakar Malami, Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dangyade, Leader of the Sanate, Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi, and Sen. Kabiru Gaya.

Also in attendance were Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Gov. Sani Bello of Niger State and Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau State.

Others included the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr Sa’ad Abubakar III, Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Emir of Gwandu, Muhammad Bashir, the Emir of Gombe, Abubakar Abubakar III, King Alfred Dietue-Spiff from Bayelsa and other traditional rulers.

Edited By: Fela Fashoro and Ephraims Sheyin


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