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Kano Pilgrims Board ignores FOI request on Hadaya

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Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board

Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board has refused to disclose the number of pilgrims who paid for the ritual Hadaya animal sacrifice through the board, a civil society organization says.

Kano Today reports that the organization, Independent Hajj Reporters, which monitors Hajj and Umrah  has submitted a Freedom of Information request to the board.

The organization had also asked about the number of pilgrims who paid the Hadaya fees via Jaiz Bank as directed by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

Independent Hajj Reporters announced this in a statement signed by the national coordinator Ibrahim Muhammed and publicity secretary Abubakar Mahmoud in Abuja on Friday.

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The statement said the letters were also sent to Kaduna, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Niger, FCT, and Yobe State Muslim Pilgrims Board.

 “We sought the following information – the total registered number of 2019 hajj pilgrims; the total number of pilgrims that paid for Hadaya through Jaiz Bank and their names, contact numbers and registration numbers as well as the total number of pilgrims that paid through State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards, their names and registration numbers”. The organization stated.

However, only Yobe and Kaduna states officially responded to the request as at the time of issuing the public statement.

The civil society organization said it is working with some anti- corruption agencies to monitor how the process of Hadaya will be conducted during the Hajj this year.

It also promises to make its findings public.

“We have concluded all necessary arrangements to ensure that we monitor how pilgrims conduct their Hadaya this year. We are also aware that some states have collected Hadaya money from pilgrims without issuing them a receipt.” It stated.

“These acts negate open transparency and we have begun to identify previous methods used to scam pilgrims by some dubious agents in collaboration with top state pilgrims’ boards’ officials,” the statement said.

It also recalled that NAHCON has approved Jaiz Bank as the only official Hadaya collector for 2019 hajj.

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