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House To Investigate Alleged Anomalies In 2023 Hajj Operatio

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The House of Representatives has mandated the Committee on Pilgrims Affairs (when constituted) to conduct a detailed investigation into the several anomalies that emanated from the recently concluded 2023 Hajj excercise.

This was sequel to the adoption of a motion by a member from Oyo state, Mr Adedeji Stanley Olajide at plenary.

The lawmaker stated that Nigerian Pilgrims were subjected to untold hardship during the 2023 Hajj exercise from the inability of some airlines (such as Arik) to lift pilgrims due to lack of aircraft and inadequate
accommodation at Mina and Arafat.

” Nigerians being made to miss their flights due to stringent bottlenecks regarding withholding of their International Passports; inability to secure airport slots for Nigerian airline operators for lifting of Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia back to Nigeria
and many others;

“Also aware that over twenty five thousand (25,000) Nigerian pilgrims (including those who paid for Tent A VIP Class) were stranded at Mina due to inadequate tents and over subscription leaving the pilgrims sleeping on the roads, under bridges and nearby mosques. There are also cases of several public officials (such as present and former Governors, Senators and Hon Members) who had no tent
and were made to sleep in unhealthy places and conditions.

He added that some tour operators perpetrated the worst form of unprofessionalism by failing to provide services promised to pilgrims in terms of accommodation, tent, feeding or transportation.

Mr Olajide said there was also the absence of emergency medical services for sick patients at
Mina camp as many distressed patients could not be attended to due to restrictions of Ambulance access
to the camp.

He expressed concern that the agency mandated to cater for Pilgrims, (NAHCON) was not proactive
in ameliorating the plight of Nigerians during the 2023 Hajj.

Adopting the motion, the House directed the matter to the Committee on Legislative Compliance for action(when constituted).

Oduyemi Odumade, Edited By Grace Namiji

Written by: Kevin Nwabueze

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