Akin Akande, Abuja
As part of preparation to this year hajj operation for the pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide has inaugurated the Amirul Hajj team for the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board.
The Minister, while inaugurating the team on Friday implored the Amirul Hajj team under the leadership of General (red.) Mammon Bagudu to collaborate with the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) and other stakeholders to resolve the intractable problems associated with flight schedule in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia for Nigerian pilgrims.
She lamented that the inability to articulate and adhere strictly with original flight schedule in accordance with the existing international travel regulations has continued to be a source of embarrassment and also cast a black mark on previous success recorded in hajj operations in the country.
Oloye Akinjide also charged the team to ensure that the unfortunate incident of last year in which many of the FCT intending pilgrims could not perform the hajj due to inability to secure visas does not repeat itself.
She emphasized the need for the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Board and the Amirul Hajj team to work with NAHCON and the Saudi Arabian Embassy to monitor the process of issuance of visa to ensure that all those who registered with the board successfully secure visa for the 2013 hajj exercise.
While responding, the FCT Amirul Hajji, General (rtd.) Mamman thanked the Minister for the confidence reposed in him and his team.
He said that the team would be objective and fortrigth in the discharge of its responsibilities even as he charged the Minister to support the team with all the necessary logistics.
General Bagudu urged the Minister to implement recommendations of reports from previous hajj operations to avoid mistakes of the past.
Meanwhile, the Amirul Hajj team as parts of its terms of reference is expected to conduct general supervision and coordination of 2013 hajj operation.
It is to liaise with all stakeholders towards ensuring the success of the exercise as well as submit the report of the exercise at its end to the Minister.