Supplicating Pilgrim at Masjid Al Haram. Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Credit: Wikipedia.

KUNLE IDOWU

Ogun State Government has assured intending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj of the safety of their initial deposits with the cancellation of international participation in the pilgrimage by the Saudi Authority.

The State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board gave the assurance in a statement .

The Executive Secretary of the Board, Alhaji Dauda Salau in the release asked the ntending pilgrims, who made deposits to defer such fare till 2021 Hajj exercise, saying special consideration would be accorded them, as it would be on first-come, first-served basis.

He however said that intending pilgrims, who wish to seek refund of their deposit and other documents, such as international passport, are free to do so.

“The Hajj fare deposit of intending pilgrims are safe and well documented, however, they are advised to defer their existing deposit till the next Hajj exercise, and anyone who wishes to collect his or her money will not be denied, once all requirements are met”, he stated.

The Secretary pointed out that the decision taken by the Saudi Arabian authority was apt, to contain the spread of Covid-19, as it was important to accept the cancellation as the will of Almighty Allah.

“The reality of Covid-19 in Saudi indeed affected the outcome of their decision, and by extension, sounds a warning to the entire world, hence the need for all intending pilgrims and the general public to be on guard, practice good hygiene, obey medical protocols and support the State government effort to flatten the curve of covid-19 pandemic,“

He further indicated that the Board expressed gratitude to the League of Imams and Alfas, religious organizations, intending pilgrims and indeed all other stakeholders in the State, for their efforts and preparations towards the year 2020 cancelled Hajj.