By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Kaduna hajj camp located at Mando area of the state is currently in a deplorable state of disrepair with multiple disturbing issues that requirs urgent attention.
Investigation reveals that the camp is lacking basic amenities such as clean water, adequate sanitation facilities, and proper waste management system.
Further investigation revealed that Pilgrims are forced to live in unhygienic environment that could pose significant health risks and challenges.
In addition, the tents and accommodations are in dilapidated condition and overcrowded, leaving pilgrims without space or comfort during their stay.
Pilgrims, both male and female have no choice than to sleep together on the same floor in the same room, which many described as un-islamic.
The lack of conducive environment further worsen the already burdensome living conditions, as this dire situation not only compromises the safety and well-being of the pilgrims but also diminished the overall spiritual experience of the hajj.
Indeed, there have been claims made by many that the Agency, under the leadership of the Executive Secretary, Yusuf Yakubu engaged in practices by favoring some individuals with personal connections or affiliation instead of ensuring fair and equal opportunities for all intending pilgrims.
Under this circumstances, Pilgrims who are farmers would farm and sell their products, and pay for hajj but only to discovered that their slots have been replaced with that of a higher bidder, a situation many described as unacceptable and could distort the confidence of people on the Board.
Also of worry to many pilgrims is the medical screening exercise which is supposed to be at the state owned healthcare facilities which generate huge amount of revenue for the State and has been reportedly diverted to Kaduna Polytechnic clinic by the Executive Secretary, for reasons yet to be ascertained.
Additional information from the Chairman of a group under the aegis of Kaduna Transparency Initiative,
Comrade Lawal Yahaya, lamented the situation and called for solution to address the issue.
“This practice need to be address as there is no government that could succeed without revenue.
The chairman also lamented that a situation where pilgrims airlines were forced to land at Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano state, instead of Kaduna International Airport, was wrong and risky given the current security challenges in the country.
“It’s unfortunate as well as stressful for the pilgrims. We have great faith in the leadership of our government and her commitment to the welfare of her citizens.
“We believe that by promptly investigating these allegations, the government can nip potential problems in the bud and pave the way for a successful and transparent Hajj operations subsequently.
Contacted, the Executive Secretary (ES), Pilgrims Welfare Agency Kaduna State Yusuf Yakubu explained that the investigation would be helping the Agency if its findings are true and reflects the reality on ground
“I don’t know whom I am speaking with but as a journalist if that’s what you are truly investigating and finds to to be true you can go ahead and do your job.
“You are helping us bringing such issues out. problem may only come when we understand that a publication is made to dent our image based on lies and false allegations”, he stated.
The chairman of the Initiative, Comrade Lawal Yahaya also noted that, there is need for immediate action to tackle the problem, “We write with deep concern and a sense of urgency regarding the 2023 Hajj operation conducted by the Kaduna State Pilgrim and Welfare Agency.
“As concerned citizen of this great state, we would like to seek for your immediate action to investigate the alleged abuse of office by the Executive Secretary of the Agency during this exercise.
“It has come to our notice through multiple reports and discussions that the leadership of the Agency has been involved in number of activities that are not only inimical but also jeopardize the reputation and integrity of the Agency.
“This alleged abuse of office undermines the trust placed by people and raises serious doubts about the fairness and transparency of the entire Hajj operation, as enumerated earlier. He said.