AS MUSLIMS in Nigeria prepare
for this year’s hajj, an Islamic cleric
in Jalingo, Taraba State, Sheikh
Aliyu Lamidogora has called for
probe of the Taraba State Muslim
Pilgrims Welfare Board over
alleged racketeering of hajj seats
allotted to the state.
Speaking with Nigerian Pilot
in Jalingo yesterday, the cleric
expressed concerns over the
manner the 1,200 hajj seats
allocated to Taraba by the National
Hajj Commission were being
hoarded by the hajj Board.
The Board, he informed, had
in a letter sent across to mosques,
called on the intending Muslims
pilgrims to get their hajj seats
for the 2015 pilgrimage from
their centres across the 16 local
government areas.
But few days after the
announcement, the cleric
continued, the intending pilgrims
that went to the centres could not
get seats as only few numbers
were allocated, lamenting that a
good number of seats were left in
the custody of the Board.
The cleric insisted that the
information he got from across the
16 local government areas revealed
that only 304 hajj seats were sold
out, wondering what happened to
the remaining 896 seats.
According to him, those who
went back to the Board to request
for hajj seats were told by the
officials that there were no seats
available anymore.
Lamidogora, while lamenting
that hajj was one of the five pillars
of Islam, noted that the alleged
racketeering of seats by the Board
would deprive many Muslims
the opportunity to perform the
religious obligation this year.
He called for the intervention of
the state government by setting up
a panel to investigate the activities
of the Board with a view to finding
out what happened to the sales of
the hajj seats.
When reached for comments,
the executive secretary of the state
Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board,
Alhaji Habibu Almakki said he
would not join issues with the
cleric.
He wondered why the cleric did
not understand the working of the
board as regards allocation of hajj
seats.
But checks by Nigerian Pilot
showed that the Board usually
reserves not less than 300 seats
for the state government even
as it also gives considerations to
members of the State Assembly
as well as other top government
functionaries


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