By Ademola Orunbon, Abeokuta
Following the cancellation of international pilgrims from participating in year 2020 Hajj, as announced by Saudi Authority, Ogun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (OGSMPWB) has assured all intending pilgrims from the State of safety of their initial Hajj deposit with the Board.
According to a statement made available by the Executive Secretary of the Board, Alhaji Dauda Salau, all intending pilgrims, who made deposits were advised to defer such fare till 2021 Hajj exercise, saying special consideration would be accorded them, as it would be on first-come, first-served basis.
The statement further explained that intending pilgrims, who wish to seek refund of their deposit and other documents, such as international passport, are free to do so.
“The Hajj fare deposit of intending pilgrims are safe and well documented, however, they are advised to defer their existing deposit till the next Hajj exercise, and anyone who wishes to collect his or her money will not be denied, once all requirements are met”, it stated.
The release pointed out that the decision taken by the Saudi Arabian authority was apt, to contain the spread of Covid-19, as it was important to accept the cancellation as the will of Almighty Allah.
“The reality of Covid-19 in Saudi indeed affected the outcome of their decision, and by extension, sounds a warning to the entire world, hence the need for all intending pilgrims and the general public to be on guard, practice good hygiene, obey medical protocols and support the State government effort to flatten the curve of covid-19 pandemic, “the statement read.
The statement further indicated that the Board expressed gratitude to the League of Imams and Alfas, religious organizations, intending pilgrims and indeed all other stakeholders in the State, for their effort and preparation towards the year 2020 cancelled Hajj.