The Cross River Muslim Pilgrims Board has informed all intending pilgrims in the state for the 2020 hajj to apply for the refund of their money paid for the pilgrimage.
Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that the 2020 hajj, scheduled to take place in July, would welcome “very limited number” of pilgrims in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Rabiu Maimaje, Chairman, Cross River Muslim Pilgrims Board announced this in a statement on Wednesday in Calabar.
He said that the decision became necessary due to the restriction placed by the authorities of Saudi Arabia to check the spread of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Maimaje said the board, had already paid a courtesy visit to Rev. Fr. Bob Etta, Senior Special Adviser on Religious Affairs to Gov. Ben Ayade to notify him of the development.
He added that to keep the Muslim faithful abreast of the situation, the board was visiting all the Mosques in Calabar metropolis to interact with the Imams.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, Kabir Olowolayemo, Chief Imam of Calabar Central Mosque, said that the pilgrimage was not canceled but would be held with fewer number of pilgrims.
Mr Olowolayemo said hajj was one of the pillars of Islam and should be carried out with precautionary measures due to the number of pilgrims from different nations.
“COVID-19 does not respect religion, tribe or status, so, it is imperative for everyone to observe the rules which the authorities have put in place.
“Intention is key in anything we are doing, God sees and knows our hearts and that is what our rewards would be based on,” he said.
The Imam advised every Muslim to observe social distancing, wash their hands regularly, wear face masks and obey all government directives in order to save the society from COVID-19.