The Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), an organisation that monitors and reports hajj and umrah activities in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, has commended the Oyo State governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, for his positive attitude towards the intending pilgrims from his state who missed the 2022 hajj.
Governor Makinde had ordered the state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board not to deduct any amount from the fare paid by the affected persons who have asked for a refund.
IHR, in a statement signed by its national coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammed, said it was aware that deductions were made from pilgrims’ deposits in other states for services already paid for.
The organisation said the comment of the governor while receiving the report of Hajj 2022 at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, was pleasing to the intending pilgrims who lost the chance to perform pilgrimage last year.
The governor equally said that those among the depositors who want to use their money for the 2023 hajj would be the first to be considered for the exercise and that they would not make any additional payment to what they have already paid even if the fare for this year’s hajj turns out to be a bit higher than last year’s.
“This means that the Oyo State government will shoulder the differentials of 2023 hajj fare for intending pilgrims from Oyo State that missed the 2022 hajj. This is worth commending,” IHR said.
The organisation urged other governors to emulate Makinde by directing their respective Muslim pilgrims welfare boards, agencies and commissions not to deduct from money paid by intending pilgrims, especially those that could not travel for hajj.