MeccaaA group, Independent Hajj Reporters, have painted a sordid picture of how private hajj operators subjected Nigerian pilgrims under their care in Saudi Arabia to all forms of hardships.
The group, which called on the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to probe such hajj operators, in a statement in Muna, Saudi Arabia, by the national coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammed, said that one of the hardships the pilgrims were subjected to was hunger.
“There are complains of non- provision of some essential services like meals, transportation of pilgrims, non-allocation of tents for pilgrims by some Nigerian tour operators and their Saudi based service providers,”
“This situation has made it difficult for the affected pilgrims to perform their act of ibadah under conducive environment.
“In view of the above, Independent Hajj Reporters, therefore, called on NAHCON  to immediately begin investigation to unearth the reasons for the poor services experienced by some pilgrims in Muna, especially those served by Service No 18.”
The group suggested that a committee, comprising of leadership of AHUON – the umbrella body of Independent Tour Operators, NAHCON’s inspectorate, evaluation and compliance unit, Mutawwif for African Non- Arab Pilgrims and Saudi Ministry of Hajj, and Umrah, be constituted to look into the matter.
“NAHCON should replicate what it did in 2015 by immediately commencing the process of compelling the service provider(s) to make refunds back to pilgrims for service not rendered or rendered un-satisfactorily. Such moves will help the commission to apply sanctions to appropriate quarters.”
according to the statement.
The group also condemned some states pilgrims welfare boards officials who it said, evaded the genuine requests for information from their pilgrims and absconding from their duty posts when it mattered most.
The group promised to officially report such States Pilgrims Welfare Boards leadership to their respective state governors, stressing that their action caused some pilgrims untold hardship during this year hajj.[myad]