Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has pledged his administration will smoothen Hajj operations and make the Olodo Hajj Camp habitable for pilgrims.
The governor, who was addressing 151 intending pilgrims who came to lodge complaints about the 2022 Hajj operations in his office, stated that the delay in airlifting them was as a result of the quota given to the state by the National Hajj Commission.
A press statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, quoted him as saying that he would look into the constraints facing them and provide solutions.
He added that information reaching him has it that the National Hajj Commission has promised to reinstate the initial 150 slots it suspended for the state, stating that once that is done, his administration would ensure they are airlifted as soon as possible.
The governor also stated that his administration will find ways to fix the infrastructure at the Hajj Camp, Olodo, Ibadan, adding that doing so would make the Hajj Camp more habitable for pilgrims.
He said: “Sincerely speaking, I have noted all your complaints. Yester night, I had a meeting with the committee to understand how we got into this problem. Just like you said, fair is fair and I told them that the additional quota of 150 was not supposed to be mixed with the existing people on the list. So, I agree totally with you.
“I got information from one of my aides a few minutes back that the Hajj Commission is trying to reinstate the 150 for us. The mistake that happened was that no one should have been removed from the 629 included in the first batch.
“But for whatever that must have happened, I want you to hold me responsible. You gave me this job to look after everybody.
“Let us put our hope in God. Of course, we will go and try to solve this problem and if there is that reinstatement, all of you will go.”
Speaking on the situation at the Hajj Camp, Olodo, Ibadan, the governor assured that he will take steps to fix the camp.
“I will do something about it and I want to assure you that this will be the last time something of this nature will happen.
“We will do everything humanly possible to address this matter. Please, I beg you to cooperate with us. We will try our best and if they give us the entire slot, everyone will go. Consequently, things will not be like this,” the governor said.
Speaking on behalf of the intending pilgrims, Adebayo Gafar, said that 151 names of intending pilgrims who were on the first batch were removed and placed on the waiting list.
He said that the development was unacceptable because the pilgrims wanted to do all that is necessary to observe the religious exercise and pray for the state.
He said: “We want you to quickly come to our aid on this matter as time is far spent and so that our hope won’t be dashed on this journey.”