COVID-19: Lagos suspends 2020 hajj operations till next year

Lagos State Government has suspended the year 2020 hajj operations, with the call to all intending pilgrims to differ the exercise till 2021.

According to the state’s Commissioner for Home Affairs, Anofiu Elegushi, the cancellation was consequent upon the ban placed on international pilgrims from performing the year 2020 pilgrimage by the Saudi Arabian authority.

“This was part of the major resolutions reached between the state government, the intending Pilgrims, Ulamahs (Islamic scholars) and other stakeholders, during a one-day sensitisation programme on the future of year 2020 Hajj operation, held at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja,” he said.

While justifying the necessity for the cancellation, Elegushi, commended the Saudi authority for taking such a bold and difficult decision in order to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is ravaging the entire world, considering the large number of people that would have performed the pilgrimage in Makkah and Medina.

He stressed that if the exercise were to hold despite the pandemic, pilgrims would be made to face a lot of stringent conditions and restrictions which would be difficult for them to bear and deny many of the opportunities.

He maintained that it is better to wait till the next hajj when it is hoped that the pandemic would have been totally defeated.

“As government that is responsible to its people, no pilgrims would be denied his or her legitimate right to seek refund of the hajj fare already paid.”

He however urged the intending pilgrims to leave the money with the government and differ the exercise till 2021 when they would be considered on a first-come, first-served basis, otherwise, they would start all over again.

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