Acting Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad was on Wednesday honoured by the Establishment for African Non Arab Pilgrims, popularly referred to as Mu’assa’sa. In the establishment’s office in Makkah, a giant cake bearing the national colours, was toasted to him followed by a lavish dinner.
In a statement by the Head, Public Affairs of the commission, Hajia Fatima Sanda Usara, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Justice Muhammad Isa Dodo (RTD), Acting Consul General, Ambassador Grema Satomi and Acting Commissioner Operations of NAHCON, Alhaji Modibbo Saleh, joined him in cutting the cake. The cake was a symbolic farewell and appreciation token presented to Barrister Mukhtar in a surprise celebration.
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Speaking ahead of the presentation, President of the Establishment, Mr Rami Saleh Labani described Barrister Mukhtar’s landmark in Nigeria’s Hajj industry as indelible. He explained how NAHCON’s meetings with Mu’assa’sa rose from being chaotic to the amicable discourse ground witnessed today. Mr Labani remarked that Barr Mukhtar’s footprint is visible all over Hajj affairs; from Arafat to Muzdalifa to Muna.
In his response, the out-going Chairman thanked the Mu’assa’sa for the cooperation his team enjoyed and canvassed for similar support for the incoming board, assuring them that the said board is made up of capable Hajj managers.
He requested for improved security around Muna tents and expressed optimism over the proposed additional toilets in the area. He stressed the need to provide special amenities for the disabled like trams and other services.
Ambassador Dodo also appreciated the cordial relationship that exists between Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. He observed that the number of times Nigeria’s president visited the Kingdom in recent times is indicative of the positive alliance.
The Commissioner Operations on his part requested the Mu’assa’sa to permit Tour Operators to always inspect tent areas reserved for Tour Operators so that they could ascertain and request for adjustments as they prefer. He also called for a clear variation between tents ‘B’ and tents ‘C’ being the ‘B’ occupants are subjected to higher charges.
Others present at the meeting were the representatives of State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, representatives of Licensed Tour Operators, some NAHCON staff and some officials of Nigeria’s diplomatic mission in the Kingdom.