*denies been partisan
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Chairman of Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing), Professor Sayed Hamza Malik on Friday hinted that the. pilgrims welfare board has refunded N181 million to intending 2021 pilgrims from Oyo State
Professor Malik who dropped this hint in a statement issued by the board and made available to newsmen in Ibadan journalists in Ibadan said the refund followed the cancellation of this year’s Hajj operations by the Saudi authorities.
According to him, the decision to refund the intending pilgrims money was reached after the June 22, 2021 meeting between Chief Executive Officers of States’ Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards and officials of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), in Abuja.
He stressed that after the Abuja meeting, the board immediately secured the approval of Governor ‘Seyi Makinde and that by July 7, 2021, it had refunded the sum of N121,042,100 (one hundred and twenty-one million, and forty-two thousand, one hundred Naira )
Professor Malik maintained that as of July 9, 2021, Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board, ( Muslim wing) had refunded another N60,533,820.00 (Sixty million, five hundred and thirty-three thousand, eight hundred and twenty Naira), bringing the total refund to N181.5 million.
Debunking an online report that the Pilgrims Board had refused to refund intending pilgrims following the cancellation of the Hajj operations, Professor Malik said, “it is a blatant lie that Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board is being used as an appendage for partisan politics in the state”
” It is important to state that we in the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board have never thought of ethnic or political consideration in our dealings with the pilgrims who register with our Board. I consider the whole publication as a blatant attempt to gain publicity”, he said.
Professor Malik added, ” this is because nobody has ever contacted me as Chairman of Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing) for information on this matter. It is pertinent to state at this juncture that the watchword of the present administration in Oyo State under the indefatigable leadership of His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde, is transparency and accountability.
“The Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing) has keyed into this watchword as reflected in the amount of money, which the Board refunded to Oyo State pilgrims before and after the 2019 Hajj operations.”