Ibrahim Al-Arab, chairman, Yobe Muslim Pilgrims Commission, says the state government has suspended the traditional “Amirul Hajj” team for this year’s pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
He disclosed on Friday while answering questions from journalists in Damaturu, the state capital.
According to him, the development is due to paucity of funds and the need to save costs.
Al-Arab said that 1,800 intending pilgrims had paid their fares fully out of the 2,231 seats allocated to the state.
“The commission could not exhaust its allocation like other states due to the economic crunch facing the country and indeed Yobe,” he said.
The chairman said the first flight from the state, which was initially scheduled for Friday, was delayed due to non-availability of Basic Traveling Allowance (BTA) for the intending pilgrims.
“We are yet to receive BTA from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which is very important and critical to the welfare of pilgrims,” he said.
Al-Arab expressed the commitment of the commission to the welfare of pilgrims from the state to Saudi Arabia and back home.
“Yobe government has provided supplement for accommodation and the commission has acquired hotel close to the holy mosque for them to perform the five daily prayers at the grand mosque,” he said.
He appealed to the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state and country at large while in the holy land.