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Group Hails El-Rufa’i For Banning Sponsorship Of Pilgrims

Independent Hajj Reporters, a civil society organisation has commended Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai for his decision to discontinue using public funds to sponsor pilgrims to Makkah and Jerusalem. In a statement signed by its national coordinator Ibrahim Muhammed and publicity secretary Abubakar Mahmoud, the civil society said: “We aligned ourselves with the position of Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai of stopping using state resources to sponsor people to perform hajj, a practice that was marred by nepotism and corruption in the past.

“It will be recalled that Independent Hajj Reporters had earlier objected to this practice which goes contrary to religious injunction. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, the duty of every Muslim who is physically and financially able to perform it, and a journey different from any worldly travel. “We are of the opinion that pilgrims who paid for their hajj seats are those who truly need the assistance of the state and not group or individual.

We encourage other states to emulate the step taken by Kaduna State towards the abolition of that corruptinduced practice.” “Hajj is required of all believers once in their lifetimes provided they are physically, mentally and financially able as stated in chapter (3: 90-91) of the Holy Qur’an. “The above injunction clearly shows that there is no compulsion is hajj and therefore using government resources to sponsor people, who in most cases can sponsor themselves, is uncalled for at a time the states are battling to even pay workers salaries, among other basic responsibilities of government.”

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