By Muhammad Hadi


Acting Executive Secretary Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alh. Umar Makun Lapai

Niger State pilgrims have been called upon to channel all their complaints and grievances to the officials of the state pilgrims welfare board as regards to services provided to them during their stay in the holy land.

The Acting Executive Secretary of the state pilgrims welfare board, Alh. Umar Makun Lapai made the call in an exclusive interview with Newsline in Makkah, recently.
Alh. Makun while appreciating that we live in a global world where people are entitled to their own opinion which could either be negative or positive, and whatever you do in life others would have their perception over it, saying the board was concerned over the welfare of the state’s pilgrims and as such could not be party to anything that could cause discomfort to the pilgrims.

The executive secretary who was responding to an allegation posted on social media by a pilgrim from the state that they were served poisonous food said the feeding committee of the board has a NAFDAC official as a member and that they also have a Quality Assurance Committee, saying if a portion of the food was found to be unfit for human consumption, it might be through the process of transporting it from Makkah to the camp of the pilgrims at Mina.

He said there would be no way they could have served a poisonous food on 3,281 pilgrims, and there was nothing like food poisoning. “We cannot accept that and we would not be party to that, and I stand to debunk that assertion that we have served poisonous food,” said the Executive Secretary.

Alh. Makun affirmed that the food may not taste the same way the the pilgrims were used to back home because their cooking system was not same with the one back home, appealing to the pilgrims to appreciate the fact that they were in another country and apologized on behalf of the service providers for whatever discomfort they might have experienced.

“I want to assure you that we are on top of the situation and we are ensuring that no pilgrim is shortchanged and no pilgrim will be given anything order than what we all eat,” he explained.

Umar Makun asked the pilgrims to take whatever experience they might have passed through as one of the challenges while on transit or in another place that is not their home, urging them to be patient and bear with the situation.

He said they tagged this year’s Hajj as “Pilgrims are Kings while the officials are Servants” and that they were ready to serve them, appealing to the pilgrims to find a better way of channelling their grievances rather than taking to social media and warned that the board will not accept any form of blackmail from any pilgrim.