2019: The golden years of Kano Pilgrims Board –
By Umoru Ibrahim
The Kano State Pilgrims Board like many of its peers across the country has for decades been spear heading the noble assignment of facilitating the preparations as well as movement of Kano pilgrims from the State to the Holy land. Different administrations from the states come with different leaders of this important organization.
These leaders carry out different policy initiatives of how to better the lots of pilgrims either while in Nigeria before departing for the holy pilgrimage or during the actual Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia.
Of course, the primary and fundamental responsibility of the Board is anchored on creating an enabling environment for the pilgrims. But since those who had led the religious organizations are human beings, and most especially Nigerians;their activities in the previous dispensations of the organization had the tendencies of countering the overall interests of the pilgrims.
Although the comforts of the pilgrims are the primary statutory responsibilities of the Board, which the government has spent colossal amounts to sustain, the progress made in this direction had been in reverse order before the emergence of the present Board.
Today, with the coming on board of the present Executive Secretary, Muhammad Abba Dambatta and the Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Sale Pakistan to the Board, the pilgrims for who the organization was established,now feel more positive impacts of the leadership thanhithertothe case.Those who participated in the 2019 Hajj have told wonderful stories about how the seriousness of the Executive Secretary and his team, his transparent handling of affairs, the proactive initiatives and the support of the state government engendered an unprecedented success before, during and after the operations.
An observer of the activities of the Board in the preparatory stage and, up to the actual Hajj performance, unequivocally stated while chatting with The Triumph that if his previous experiences of the operations could be a base line for analysis in terms of feeding of the pilgrims, medications, security, transportation and absolute attentions of the officials to the pilgrims, there is no doubt that 2019 Hajj operation represented a golden year in the annals of Hajj operation in Kano.
Looking deep into the activities of the Board members, one is compelled to subscribe to this assertion. The recent encomiums poured on the Board members by the Governor of Kano State Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje are no less further justification for this.
2019: The golden years of Kano Pilgrims Board
We reliably gathered that while in the Holy land during the Hajj operation, the burning desire to make the Kano pilgrims comfortable led the Executive Secretary into a crucial meeting with a group of GSM service providers in the Holy land. At the meeting, he unequivocally informed the service providers about the discomfort Kano, by extension, Nigerian pilgrims faced in using their facilities. The cost of call makings using their networks in the Holy land has been known to be very expensive.
Similarly, the difficulties faced by the pilgrims in reaching out to their families and relatives at home using their facilities has also been a huge source of worry to the pilgrims. All of these, as we leant, were tabled by the ES as he told them to improve their services to make call-outs of the pilgrims’ easier while in the Holy land. He was even quoted to have told the service providers to reduce their call charges to make it easier for Kano pilgrims to reach out to their families and relatives during the Hajj operations.
According to him, the fulfillment of these conditions would determine the extent the Board will recommend any service provider to the pilgrims. One is optimistic that with this move by the Executive Secretary, it is hoped that 2020 will come with easier and cheaper communication activities.
In rounding up its 2019 Hajj activities recently, the Board members, led by the Chairman submitted the 2019 Hajj report to the Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje at theGovernment House.
The comments by the Governor, the praises he showered on the management and the happiness with which he received the report are all pointers to the fact that the state government is completely satisfied with the Board’s performance in 2019.
In fact, the unrestricted and unprecedented enthusiasm showed by the State Governor in receiving the report is an implied admission that 2019 is indeed, a golden year for the Board.
The profiles of the Board and its management are rising by the day as the Board has become a point of reference among its peers in Nigeria in terms of crises-free Hajj operations and transparent disposition of the Board’s leadership.
2019: The golden years of Kano Pilgrims Board
A very reliable piece of information has shown that the achievement of the Board has been so recognized outside the state that some members of other pilgrims boards in the neighboring states sponsored some of their close relatives to Hajj through the Board.
Taking cognizance of these achievements,is there any wonder therefore, that recently, the Chairman and the Executive Secretary of the Board were invited to an international conference in the UK where they joined representatives from 46 countries to brainstorm on the best way to improve future Hajj operations?
Although the Board’s representatives at the conference have since returned after the useful event, the knowledge gained will play pivotal roles in the Board’s future plans to make 2020 better than the previous years’.
Recently, the Executive Secretary left no one in doubt regarding his proactive capability in handling the Board’s activities. For example, while some pilgrims boards in Nigeria are yet to come out of the crises they ran into during their 2019 operations, Kano has already gone far in its planningto make 2020 Hajj a huge success.
According to the Executive Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Abba Dambata, the Board has since launched the 2020 Hajj payment scheme which will enable the intending pilgrims to start paying deposits of not less than N1.2million for the 2020 Hajj.
Briefing the press about the arrangement so far, the Executive Secretary said that payment must be done through bank drafts as no one is permitted to receive cash from anybody in line with the transparency posture of the Board. The payment he said could either be made at the Board’s Headquarters or in any of its centres in the 44 local government councils of the state.
The multi-million Naira building housing the Headquarters of the Board will, according to the Executive Secretary, be commissioned by the State Governor while the Governor will use the opportunity to inspect other projects of the Board, said the ES.
This superlative performance of Kano State Pilgrims Board which can be attributed to the credible leadership of the organization and the commitment of the state government is a pointer to the fact that Nigeria is blessed with different types of leaders with undoubted credibility. However, what is required is putting square pegs in square holes as it is now the case in Kano State Pilgrims Board.