NAHCON awaits Saudi Arabia to make an official decision, chairman say

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The Chairman/CEO National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alh. Zikrullah Kunle Hassan on Wednesday disclosed that the commission is waiting for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to make an official decision on whether or not the 2020 Hajj pilgrimage will hold.

He said 2020 Hajj could still hold in spite of the fear and uncertainty due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The chairman has however said the pilgrimage may come with some stringent measures to safeguard the health of pilgrims.

A statement by NAHCON’s Assistant Director for Information and Publication, Mousa Ubandawaki indicated that Hassan spoke at a Zoom seminar on “The Future of Hajj and Umrah operations after the Pandemic” by the Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (NAHCON).

The chairman also stated that there is a likelihood of the reduction of Hajj slots for all countries. All these measures will be as a result of ways to tackle the COVID 19 pandemic.

He said: “Only the Saudi Arabian authorities can take the final decision. We can only take our own decision in the light of theirs”.

But I still would believe that this may come with certain conditions. It may not be the usual way of doing Hajj. People might have to go through self- isolation or outright quarantine. Besides, the issue of social distancing may be adopted during religious rites in accommodation and transportation

Hassan, who described Hajj as a veritable platform on which Muslims pray fervently for spiritual uplifting, forgiveness of sins, and  seek  for personal needs, said that much as he prayed and hope for the Hajj to hold, he was not oblivious that it may come with  some stringent measures, so as to safeguard the health and lives of people.

“I’m praying and I believe every one of us is praying too seeking the mercy and help of Allah that this pandemic passes away quickly.. But even then, we should not deceive ourselves to think that it would be like the previous ones”

He further “As a Muslim that we are, let us continue to call on the Almighty Allah to have mercy. To assist us and decide whatever will be best for us.

Hassan pleaded with the intending pilgrims to accept any outcome of the decision in good faith.

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