The Concerned Muslim Pilgrims Monitoring Group, CMPMG, in Plateau State, on Sunday, commended Governor Simon Lalong for his concern over the general welfare of the state’s pilgrims.
In its annual independent report co-signed by Auwal Abubakar, Shittu Tanko, and Abdullahi Auta as Chairman, Coordinator and Secretary respectively, the group attributed the success of the 2018 exercise to the goodwill and determination of Mr Lalong.
The group acknowledged the governor’s quest of not only rescuing the board from its rot but to that of ensuring that the right things are done in the right directions.
“Generally, the performances of the board and the conduct of the pilgrims were, to say the least, excellent steps and efforts to the right path and to the betterment of pilgrimage.
“We must commend Governor Simon Lalong, for his concern over the general welfare of the pilgrims, his restructuring of the board which led to the credible appointment of Barrister Auwal Abdullahi as Executive Secretary of the board in particular as well as the general improvement in the board,” it stated.
The group, therefore, urged the state governor to retain the State Executive Secretary of the State Pilgrims Welfare Board for his foresight and meaningful reforms that have advanced the welfare of pilgrims.
Similarly, the group extolled the leadership qualities of the Executive Secretary of the board as well as some of the reforms he put in place.
According to the group, in 2018, the welfare of the pilgrims was accorded priority in terms of accommodation, feeding and healthcare at all levels of the hajj exercise.
The group added that all approved entitlements of staff, Ulamah and high-powered government delegation were duly released to each and every one of them.
“The measures put in place by the Executive Secretary of the pilgrims’ board, Barr. Auwal Abdullahi, being a first-timer has made an unprecedented feat of success and set the pace of transparency and sanity.
“We recommend that His Excellency, Governor Simon Lalong, should retain him so that positive gains would further be consolidated to greater heights,” it said.
“Once again we make bold to say that a great departure from rots to good hope of rescue in the board has been achieved and is a good step for posterity to reflect on.
“We have graduated from the previous years where the exercises were characterized by leftovers to the feat of having all the 815 intending pilgrims performing the Islamic rites at ease. This feat is certainly worthy of mention.
“All processes of documentation, screening, health checks and pilgrimage orientation were carried out successfully,” it emphasized.
The group further recommended a timely release of funds to enable payments of pilgrims’ accommodation close to the Grand Mosque.
According to the group, henceforth all assigned members of government delegation must stay till final airlift of the pilgrims.
“That fund should be added to cater for vaccines in the state medical team. That allocation of Government sponsored seats should continue to be through the process and discretion of the board as carried out in the period under review,” it recommended.