How Oyo succeeded in its 2016 hajj operation —Akeugbagold

THE chairman of the Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing), Alhaji Taofeek Akeugbagold, has attributed the success of the 2016 hajj operation by the state to Allah’s intervention.

Speaking to journalists at the Oyo State House, near al-Masjid al-Haram, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Akeugbagold described the success recorded in this year’s hajj as unprecedented.

“You will notice that I came to Saudi Arabia late with some eight Oyo State pilgrims who had challenges with their visas but on getting here, I went straight to Kaabah and cried unto Allah to intervene and guide us through and Allah did it for us. Alhamdulillah,” he said.

He said the exercise came with a lot of challenges this year, especially for pilgrims from the state, but by the grace of Allah, every situation was addressed.

Akeugbagold listed visa procurement, transportation of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, securing the best accommodation near the grand mosques both in Makkah and Madinah and securing BTA for the pilgrims as some of the challenges.

He said given the state’s handoff of financial responsibility for the hajj operation, with Allah’s mercy and cooperation of Governor Abiola Ajimobi, the board was able to manage its meagre resources to get the best for its pilgrims.

“For Instance, we paid close to N400,000 for each room in this five-star hotel near Haram for our pilgrims. It is unprecedented in the history of Oyo State for its pilgrims to live so close to the grand mosque. We are the best this year,” he boasted.

He commended the pilgrims for conducting themselves well and abiding by the rules, in line with what he called the series of trainings and workshops organised for them ahead of the hajj exercise.

The chairman equally thanked the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, for his moral and personal financial support which, he said, assisted the board to execute its projects.

He said being the pacesetter state, Oyo would move from its present Tent C in Muna to Tent B next year, thus moving its pilgrims closer to the Jamarat.

Meanwhile, Akeugbagold expressed support for the idea of volunteerism during hajj being canvassed by the chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Abdullahi Mukhtar.