By Muhammad Hadi


Speaker of Niger State House of Assembly, Hon. Abdullahi Bawa Wuse has advocated for the decentralization of authority which empowers the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on the medical and feeding of Nigerian pilgrims while in the holy land.
Hon Wuse made his position known in Makkah while fielding questions from journalists. He said that medical facilities and treatment of pilgrims who were sick was poor stating further that a pilgrim fell sick at Muna, it has to take more than two hours before he was been attended to due to the absence of an ambulance.
“To me, we have Doctors, Nurses and pharmacists from Niger State on the medical team, but is as good as not having them because they don’t have the drugs neither do they have the equipment to administer to patients.” Wuse said.
He asserted that these things are in the control of NAHCON which according to him, does not augur well for the states.
In the area of feeding, the speaker scored the Hajj Commission average due to some shortcomings recorded especially in Muna, where food was served late and where it was served, the quality of the food was poor.
He said “the problem of Nigeria is over centralization of powers, I think we need to neutralize and decentralize these powers because previously it was the states that handle these issues and the arrangements were perfect.”
He, however emphasized the need for NAHCON’s total hands off from the management of states’s pilgrims’ feeding and medical services.
Barr. Wuse uses this forum to appreciate the state governor and his wife for their magnanimity and support given to Niger State Pilgrims which according to him, will go a long way to cushion the effect of the hardships been encountered by the pilgrims.
It will be recalled that the state governor has given financial assistance of 200SR to all the 3,281 pilgrims from the state, while his wife, Dr. Amina Abubakar Sani Bello gave all the 1,405 female pilgrims 14SR as Sallah gift.
“We should thank the governor and his wife for this magnanimity and support, this is how leaders should act to be able to assist those who don’t have much, of course this is an act that will give you reward.” Said the speaker.
Hon Bawa Wuse however warned all pilgrims to be wary of how they manage their little resources not to indulge in too much purchases in order to avoid carrying excess luggage, in other words, not to exceed the approved 32kg, which will attract penalty. He said despite series of enlightenment by the pilgrims welfare board, pilgrims still go ahead to violate the rules of engagement; he then advised the state pilgrims welfare board to introduce a new system whereby release of pilgrims’ BTA is segmented into two or three to be given in Madinah and Makkah. This, according to him, will ensure that pilgrims stay away from unnecessary purchases.
Bawa Wuse said ” I remember in 2009, some pilgrims had to leave their luggages behind because they could not pay for the excess luggage charges. I hereby advise the pilgrims board to find a way of addressing this issue.”
Barr. Wuse then thanked and appreciated the the efforts of the state government in terms of logistics and provision of accommodation.