The Oyo State Pilgrim Welfare Board (Muslim wing) has upheld the decision of Saudi Arabia authority to permit only the local Pilgrims of different nationalities to perform the Hajj 2020 and suspend the attendance of the international Pilgrims.
The Chairman of the Board, Professor Sayed Malik affirmed while informing Journalists of the development at his office at Hajj Camp, Olodo, Ibadan.
Professor Malik emphasised that the decision was to impede the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic that is presently ravaging several countries, considering the number of people that would wish to perform the 2020 Hajj.
He added that the decision was to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among/international Pilgrims who would have converged on the holy land for the hajj exercise.
He indicated that all prospective pilgrims who have made payment with the board should be assured that their fees were intact and safe till 2021 Hajj, reinforcing that those interested in a refund should do so by writing to the board.
“Looking at the global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 and the decision of the Saudi government to stop international pilgrims partake in the 2020 hajj exercise, we want to assure the pilgrims from Oyo State that have deposited monies for the exercise that their money is intact with us.
“If anybody wants to collect his or her money, all they need is to write the board, but if they want to keep it with the board till 2021 hajj, we will still keep the money for them.”
The Chairman acknowledged the efforts of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) under the leadership of Alhaji (Barrister) Kunle Hassan on behalf of the board members towards the 2020 Hajj operation.
He encouraged all the 2021 prospective Pilgrims to join the Oyo State Government in its efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by regularly observing the guidelines made available to the general public to avert the spread of the deadly virus.