The Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board says it has so far registered 5,000 intending pilgrims for the 2017 pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

The board’s Assistant Director, Public Relations, Yunusa Abdullahi, made this known in an interview in Kaduna.

Abdullahi said that the board began the registration of intending pilgrims from the 23 local government areas of the state in January.

He said that those registered were mostly farmers, adding that the exercise was ongoing even as the board awaits allocation of seats from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, (NAHCON) for 2017 exercise.

He explained that so far Kubau, Soba and Lere Local Governments had registered 496, 498 and 500, respectively, showing a significant increase above the 2016 exercise.

According to him, the 2016 benchmark for each local government is 500 intending pilgrims, that does not mean we cannot register more than that.

“The extras will be moved to other local government areas that may not complete seats allocated to them.”

About  5,575 performed the 2016 pilgrimage from Kaduna State.

“This year all pilgrims must have a guarantor to prevent cases of abscondments and other misbehaviours.“

Meanwhile the board has said it will commence a weekly enlightenment for all registered intending pilgrims for the 2017 pilgrimage in all the registration centres in the state.

Abdullahi, in a statement, said that the campaign was to educate intending pilgrims on basic principles of Islam, holy pilgrimage and other principles of Hajj operations.

He said some Ulamas had been selected to conduct the enlightenment campaigns in all the centres as approved by Imam Hussaini Sulaiman Tsoho, the Overseer of the board.

According to him, the sensitisation will hold on Saturdays and Sundays, for five months and attendance is compulsory for all the registered intending pilgrims.

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