The Oyo State Government will not sponsor pilgrims to the 2015 Hajj, Alhaji Abdulkarim Adeleke, Secretary of the Muslim wing of the Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board said on Thursday.
Adeleke told journalists in an interview in Ibadan that the state government cancelled the sponsorship of pilgrims to the 2015 Hajj year due to economic difficulties.
His words: “Out of the 1,241 pilgrims assigned to Oyo State by the National Hajj Commission (NAHCO) for 2015 Hajj, none of the intending pilgrims was sponsored by government.
“The intending pilgrims for Hajj 2015 are mostly self-sponsored.” He said that more than 1,100 pilgrims would perform the Hajj through the Oyo State Camp, adding that processing of their visas had reached advanced stage.
“The first batch of pilgrims numbering about 540 will take off on Aug. 25 from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
” The second batch of 540 pilgrims will leave for Saudi Arabia on Aug. 26 from the Lagos Airport while the rest will leave by Aug. 28.” According to him, the issue of pilgrims taking off from Ibadan Airport has not been feasible this year. “The intending pilgrims have been sensitized by the board on how to perform some duties during the exercise and they are expected to adhere strictly to rules handed down by the Saudi authorities.
“Hajj 2015 did not register any pregnant woman this year since the Saudi authorities clamped down on accepting pregnant women for Hajj. ”
The intending female pilgrims were subjected to pregnancy test through our medical team,” Adeleke said.
He added that those with terminal illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension were told to carry their medication and submit them to the medical team for easy passage at the airport.