The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has promised to investigate the circumstances that led the inability of about 400 intending pilgrims to perform 2019 hajj.
Report of over 400 passengers who were left stranded at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano went viral on social media platforms.
The passengers who had secured necessary travel documents including Visa and flight booking were denied the privilege to embark on the spiritual journey but rather left frustrated, a needless development that led to a violent protest at the airport.
In a statement signed by NAHCON’s spokesperson Fatima Usara, the commission confirmed the ugly development, pledged to unravel the development.
While empathizing with the affected persons, the Hajj commission reminded that the development was regrettable despite all measure put in place to forestall such occurrence.
“Attention of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) was drawn to a protest in Aminu Kano Airport by intending pilgrims of some Private Tour Operators who could not be airlifted to Saudi Arabia for 2019 Hajj.
“While the Commission empathizes with the affected pilgrims, NAHCON regrets the situation in which the innocent pilgrims found themselves.
The statement reads further, “It should be noted that, two weeks before commencement of airlift by Private Tour Operators PTO, NAHCON had sent a circular to all the PTOs requesting to know if there is any challenge that NAHCON can immediately address to forestall any drawbacks.
“However, even as at the last minute of 2019 airlift, no complaint was received by the Commission in respect of the said circular.
NAHCON, therefore, assures the affected pilgrims that full investigation will be carried into the matter to establish reasons why they were not airlifted to the Holy Land and consequently seek justice on their behalf.
The Commission, therefore, urged the affected pilgrims to write formal complaints to the Commission, stating the affected PTO they paid their fates to, the total amount paid, the category of package they paid for and the agreement they signed for.
The statement said the required information should be backed by necessary documents to enable the Commission to investigate and establish the truth of the matter.
During 2018 hajj, a similar ugly incidence of stranded passengers, seeking to embark on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia from Kano was reported. NAHCON had since denied the incidence.