Dr. Awa Ibraheem
By Emmanuel Kehinde, Ilorin
The initial accommodation problem faced by some Kwara pilgrims in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, has been resolved.
The Ameer-l- Hajj from Kwara State, Dr. Awa Ibraheem disclosed this during a telephone interview.
Dr. Ibraheem explained that the initial hiccups in securing accommodation for the third batch pilgrims from the state was due to the diversion of their flight from Medina to Jeddah.
He stated that the pilgrims were expected to stay for some days in Medinah before their onward movement to Makkah.
The Ameer-l-Hajj said that those saddled with the responsibility of providing accommodation for the pilgrims would have used the period that the pilgrims were expected to stay in Madinah to secure accommodation for them in Makkah.
He also dismissed allegation that the accommodation hiccups were caused by the Kwara State Pilgrims Board’s late payment to the National Hajj commission(NAHCON).
“We operated four batches, the first two batches comprising of over a thousand pilgrims went straight to Medinah and it went on well.
“The third batch was also supposed to go to Medinah by the time the flight took off from Ilorin.
“Everyone believed they were heading to Madinah but they had to transit in Kano for sometimes from where the flight was diverted to Jeddah.
“They were eventually taken to Makkah instead of Madinah. By the time they got to Makkah, one of the two batches pilgrims that had earlier gone to Madinah were already done with their religious rites in Madinah, so they also went back to Makkah.
“ The spaces they left behind in Madinah was supposed to be occupied by the third batch that was inadvertently moved to Makkah instead of Madinah, so when they got to Makkah, the caretakers there were not expecting them and they had already accommodated those that returned to Makkah from Madinah. That is what caused the itches but I’m assuring you that by last night(Sunday) everybody had been adequately accommodated.
The issue wasn’t repeated with the last batch as they were taken straight to Madinah unlike the third batch,” Ibraheem explained.
Edited by Felix Ajide