*Suggests measures to Riyahd, Abuja
Former Chairman, Agege Local Government Area and a coordinator of Lagos State pilgrims at this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia, Honourable Jubreel Abdulkareem, has said that although Hajj 2019 came with a lot of surprising changes but that those changes are seen to be in the best interest of the peiole.
He said this why speaking with The DEFENDER at Munna, a suburb of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, last Friday.
According to him, “Generally I can say that things are still not so smooth as expected. I cannot tell who is responsible but Saudi Arabia is bringing in some changes that even the NAHCON is not aware of, until when we got here.
“For example, we are going to be moved to Arafat tonight (Friday) which used to be around morning time before now. But this change came in consideration of number of pilgrims and they are trying to guide against stampede that usually occur during the exercise, which is in the best interest of the people, but other stakeholders are supposed to be carried along.
“And at the same time we can’t blame them since safety of lives and property is germane here. When people now know that these new changes work out well, in the future, they will get used to it,” Abdulkareem Jubreel said.
Talking about Lagos State, Hon. Jubreel bemoaned situation where state’s incapacity to be directly involved in Hajj operations affects performances.
“Saudi Government does not know states but Federal Government. Everything they do they do it with Federal Government and so, there is little or nothing Lagos State can do in that regards.
“Unfortunately the Federal Government does not want states to plan their things as they should. They always love to put all states on the same pedestrian.
“In Lagos State, we have surpassed our present level but because of the measure, we are being drawn back.”
He noted that the same problem faced in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj is replicate of the problem states face in Nigeria where state that has capacity to move at its own pace is not allowed to do so.