- Some pilgrims would have to stay behind for this year's Hajj as an officer has decided to play a smart game one them
- This is as the officer has refused to remit the money meant for the Hajj trip paid into his account, hindering pilgrims from being a part of the event
- This development has however affected about 150 intending pilgrims in Niger state at the moment even as the state's welfare board has set up a panel to investigate the matter
Some intending pilgrims from Bida Local Government Area of Niger state would not perform this year’s Hajj, as the Area Pilgrims Officer (APO), Nma Ndagana, has failed to remit millions of naira paid into his account.
According to a report by Daily Trust, about 150 intending pilgrims paid into the APO’s personal bank account as he directed them instead of paying into the official designated account domiciled in the Jaiz Bank.
The secretary of the Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Umar Maku Lapai, who confirmed the development, said that a committee had already been set up to investigate the allegations.
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He did not, however, give the number of affected intending pilgrims, explaining that complaints had been received in batches and more people were still coming forward with similar complaints.
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Alhaji Lapai added that the number of people registered by the APO was more than the allocation given to his local government and he only remitted for the assigned number of people for his local government.
He affirmed thus:
“In the case of Bida, the number of pilgrims that he (APO) registered were above the slot he was asked to register. Those that he paid their money to us have been given visas. Those that paid their money to his account were the ones with problems.”
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The erring officer will not travel, Lapai discloses
Lapai also explained that if the allegations were found to be true, the official involved would not be allowed to travel, adding that the board would not take responsibility for money paid into individual accounts.
He, however, could not explain the whereabouts of the APO.
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Some aggrieved intending pilgrims trooped out in their numbers to stage a protest at the head of office Jaiz Bank which is the accredited financial institution by the state’s pilgrim’s board.
Legit.ng gathered that over 250 persons who did not make the final cut for the holy pilgrimage were seen stranded and lamenting at the bank.
In Sokoto state, bandits attack the convoy of Hajj-bound Muslims
The intending pilgrims were slated to jet off to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, June 21 by 7.30am before the bandit attack on Monday, June 20.
Residents of the area recounted that the bandits attacked the convoy along Gundumi forest. However, security escorts were able to intercept the attack.