As part of measures to curb the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus, otherwise called “Covid-19 global pandemic” by the World Health Organization(WHO), the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has announced the immediate suspension of all ongoing sensitization of pilgrims ahead of the 2020 Hajj operation.
In a circular addressed to the Pilgrims Welfaire Boards across the 36 states of the federation, the Commission said the measure has become necessary given the need to observe strict adherence to public health procedures recomended by government in the fight against Covid-19.
A statement signed by NAHCON’s head of Public Affairs, Fatima Sanda Usara, on Friday said: “This is to notify the general public that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) had issued a circular with reference number NAHCON/SB/33/VOL.XVIII/260 to all States’ Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards/Agencies/Commissions to suspend pilgrims’ sensitization activities nationwide until further notice”.
“The directive became necessary in the light of the health challenges posed by the COVID-19 infection with its potency of rapid transmission most especially in large gatherings. It is therefore among NAHCON’s priorities to protect pilgrims as well as intending pilgrims from hazardous circumstances whether in or outside the country.
“In addition, Federal Government, in line with advisory from National Centre for Disease Control has banned all public gatherings whether religious or social. This is to support social distancing and as a COVID-19 containment strategy. This measure, NAHCON totally identifies with.
“The circular signed by NAHCON Commissioner, Planning, Research, Statistics, Information and Library Services, Sheikh Suleiman Momoh, commended state pilgrims’ boards/commissions/agencies for their efforts in pilgrims’ enlightenment.
“The sensitization is geared towards mentoring Nigerian pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the country while in Saudi Arabia. However, all necessary preparatory steps for 2020 Hajj goes on, the document advised.
“Intending pilgrims and whom it may concern are kindly invited to note”, the statement reads.