From Tom Garba, Yola
Governor Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State has asked the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) to allocate more slots to the state for the 2016 hajj.
Bindow made the request while receiving the officials of the commission who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Yola on Wednesday.
He recalled that the state was given 1,800 slots for the 2015 hajj and appealed to the commission to jack it up to 3,000 for 2016.
According to him, the request becomes necessary due to the people’s zeal to perform the pilgrimage.
The governor commended the leadership of the commission for its efficient administration of hajj, adding that the commission was steadfast during the last stampede that led to the loss of many lives.
He also gave an assurance that his administration had concluded modalities for the allocation of land for the construction of a three-star hotel by the commission.
Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed, chairman of the commission said that NAHCO was in the state to condole with the government over incidents of bomb blast and fire outbreak in the state.
Mohammed also said that the commission was in the state to condole with the governor over the loss of nine lives during the last hajj in Saudi Arabia in the stampede.
He said that the commission was waiting for the outcome of the investigation by the Saudi authorities which would convince the bereaved families about the loss of their loved ones.
His words: “We are in the state to condole with the government and the people of the state over incidence of bomb blast and fire outbreak which claimed many lives and loss of property.
“We are also in the state to condole the governor over the loss of nine lives during stampede in the last Hajj. From our records, three pilgrims from this state died as a result of natural course while two got missing.
“We pray that such will not reoccur and we sincerely commend the Saudi authorities for their efficient management of the stampede situation as well as putting their best to ensure a hitch-free hajj. We are waiting for the outcome of their investigation which will make bereaved families to have inner convictions for the death of the loved ones.’’
Mohammed eulogized Adamawa Pilgrims’ Welfare Board for efficient management of the last hajj operations.
He noted that the state pilgrim welfare board recorded zero corrupt practices in their operations, urging other states to emulate it.
The chairman was accompanied by the commission’s top management team on the visit.