Hajj 2022: Yes, Mr Shehu Bashir From Kwara, I am pained too – By Bukur Ayyash

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The world has found itself in an era when once one can write and read, that individual considers himself an authority to comment on matters upon which he or she has no knowledge or half knowledge. The social media has become an execution arena where one just wakes up in the morning and pours his ignorance that attracts like minds ready to pounce on presumed guilty party. And because negative news travels fast, boom the accused might as well wake up in the same morning unaware of a jury waiting to hang him for reasons unknown to him.

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Let me first introduce myself. I am a Saudi based student, a volunteer assisting the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria in its operation in Madina. I am privileged with a lot of information on Nigeria’s Hajj operation, reason for which I felt pained by a write-up by one Shehu Bashir, from Kwara state. Mr Bashir turned the facts upside down and since it is typical for negative news to get more readers and responses, his epistle received the readership he craved for. One thing that I know though, yes, if the people working in Hajj Commission do not forgive him, he will stand before God the Just on judgement day to prove his allegations and be called to account as he rightly stated.

The first distorted information Mr Bashir gave was in the scheduled date of his team’s travel to Madinatu Al Munawwara. There is nowhere in NAHCON’s schedule where Kwarans were expected in Madinah by 25th of July. Mr. Bashir should hold his informant responsible for misleading him because right from the start, Kwaran were slated to travel to Madina on 29th of the Month not 25th causing them suspense as stated by the writer.

Secondly, I do not know where pilgrims spend long days in Madina after Hajj because even the pilgrims are eager to return to their country and Saudi too is eager to see that every pilgrim leaves the country by the deadline of the Hajj visa period so that her citizens can return to their normal lives. Therefore, most Hajj missions plan a period of three to five days for their pilgrims during the post Hajj Madina visit. I saw the NAHCON’s plan as well in line with this.

Thirdly, I was privileged to be around in Madina on 28th of July when about 495 pilgrims were expected to arrive in Madina from the states of Gombe and Bauchi. Since NAHCON was confident the pilgrims would get the necessary clearance, communication was sent to the Madina team to get prepared for their reception. We had arranged dinner for that number, everything was set in wait for them only for the trip to be cancelled because the clearance was still not completed.

NAHCON made a huge loss from those meals resulting from the cancellation. Now, how can a people out to make illicit money gamble to incur such a loss? The usual practice would be to make the pilgrims wait for their meals after arrival because then there wouldn’t be doubts that may lead to losses. NAHCON could even have waited until the pilgrims set off before giving signal for their reception. But because they wanted to make sure everything was set before the pilgrims’ arrival, NAHCON confidently made adequate arrangement only for the permit to fail.

Yet, people will just sit in their rooms and make baseless allegations because it suits their line of thought. What do you know about the Saudi transport system? You think even with your Dollar notes in your pouch you will just walk into a motor park and request for ten buses to move your pilgrims? Or that you will just sit in your room and book three or four hotels just like that? In Nigeria it is possible and see the consequence in our country. Here, with all your money and your influence you must follow the due process in everything especially during Hajj, even if it will take you days to conclude.

Therefore sir, please do more research next time before you pen your pain down, because you might be wrong after all.

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