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Don’t rush to seek refund of hajj fare, CSO tells intending pilgrims

Pilgrims heading to Saudi Pilgrims heading to Saudi

Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a civil society organisation, has called on all intending pilgrims for the 2024 hajj not to rush into seeking a refund of their initial fare from the states Muslim pilgrims welfare boards.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ibrahim Mohammed, IHR coordinator, said the organisation has discovered from other officials across states that a significant number of pilgrims have started demanding for refund of their fares.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) had on Sunday announced an increase of N1.9 million from the initial N4.9 million paid as the approved hajj fare for the 2024 exercise.

The commission cited the forex crisis in Nigeria as reason for the fare hike and advised prospective pilgrims to make their payments by March 28.

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“Our findings show that while some are asking for their deposits out of anger, others are saying they cannot raise the balance of N1.9 million within four days,” the statement reads.

“Our findings also revealed that some pilgrims are contemplating exploring legal options insisting that the federal government through the NAHCON had announced a final hajj fare which they have paid in full within the stipulated time.

“They argued that their receipt bears complete payment for 2024 hajj’ and therefore vow to ensure that they are taken to Saudi Arabia to perform 2024 hajj.

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“The CSO however advised the intending pilgrims not to rush into taking decisions out of anger and always give a chance for positive outcome.

“Already, IHR and other like-minded groups across the country have been calling for the intervention of President Tinubu and the President is known for listening to the yearnings of citizens

“What if you chose to collect your deposits and then the government intervenes afterwards? We urge you to please hold on and see how everything ends.

“Keep the faith and keep praying, for if Allah calls, one must answer.”

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