Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has warned the state Pilgrims’ Welfare Board against accommodating international pilgrims at the expense of pilgrims who paid their hajj fares through the board.
Masari gave the warning in Katsina on Wednesday while receiving the 2018 Hajj Report from the Chairman of the board, Alhaji Salisu Ado.
The governor explained that some landlords owed the state government N30 million due to illegal provision of rooms to international pilgrims during hajj.
He stated that the illegal provision of accommodation to international pilgrims necessitated the board to acquire additional accommodation for its pilgrims.
He gave assurance that the government would settle the amount instalmentally.
Masari also urged clerics to desist from inciting the pilgrims against food being served to them during pilgrimage in the holy land.
“Most of the pilgrims are villagers and have a feel of the food for the first time and could therefore not complain.
“The clerics, instead of teaching the pilgrims on the rudiments of hajj exercise, they turn round to instigate them to stage protest on either food or accommodation.
“The conduct of hajj is not an easy task, and as such, intending pilgrims must be told not to expect only honey and bed of roses in the Holy land, but may encounter some difficulties,” he said.
Masari promised that the government would study the report so as to guide conduct of future hajj exercise.
Earlier, the Chairman of the board, Ado requested a refund of N30 million for accommodation during the 2016 and 2017 hajj.
He said prompt payment would avoid creating accommodation problem for pilgrims in Makkah during the 2019 hajj operations.