The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the able leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has urged the federal government to hand over hajj matters to the council for effective delivery of services.
In a release obtained by THE PRECISION on the council’s website, the Director of Administration, NSCIA, Isa Okonkwo noted with dismay the arbitrary increment in the price of hajj fare for this year, adding that the responsibility of hajj matters should be left with the council, while the federal governemnt take charge of consular and security affairs of the exercise.
“Whatever concession is given any other Nigerian travelers (including non-Muslim pilgrims) is due and should be accorded to Hujjaj (Nigerian Pilgrims to Mecca).
“Nigerian Muslims do not demand any other special concessions since Hajj is a religious duty for which we are responsible.
“Federal Government of Nigeria should hand Hajj-matters (except consular & security) to the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). It is Government involvement that is responsible for the high cost for obvious reasons.
“The committee set up by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of Gen. A.B. Mamman (Rtd) to work out the modus-operandi of transfer has not been given the required support (particularly in the area of statistics) by National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
“Hajj should not be commercialised at the expense of the masses who struggle to fulfill their religious obligation, hence the need to explore the cheapest cost for a comfortable and safe-hajj performance.
“The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) is therefore of the view that Hajj-fare can be less than it is, if all parties are genuinely consulted for an appropriate solution and strategy.
“The NAHCON Act is due for an urgent amendment to remove the wrong notion that Muslims rely on National purse for the performance of their religious obligation,” the statement read.