By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Chairman of Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing), Professor Sayed Malik on Sunday disclosed that pilgrims from the state presently in Medina have been paid all their traveling allowances.
Professor Malik who made this known in Ibadan while speaking with newsmen at his Olodo Hajj Camp office, said all the pilgrims were paid their traveling allowances by the board officials in Medina.
He stressed further that as soon as more money is made available by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the traveling allowances of the intending pilgrims who are yet to be airlifted will be paid.
“We have paid the traveling allowances of all the pilgrims from Oyo State. Even, those who earlier received half payments have been paid their balance. We are no longer owing any of our pilgrims in Saudi Arabia”, Professor Malik said.
The Board Chairman appealed to intending pilgrims waiting to be airlifted to the holy lands to be patient, as ” arrangements are being made to ensure that they are transported to Saudi Arabia very soon.”
“We have secured an airliner that we want to use to transport our intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. But the number of intending pilgrims that are on ground are not enough for the plane to take off.”,
He maintained ” we have about 300 intending pilgrims at Olodo Hajj Camp but they are too small for the aircraft which has the capacity to carry more than 500 people.
So, the pilots are seeking for more passengers to board the aircraft.”
” As soon as they have enough passengers, most especially intending pilgrims from another state, our intending pilgrims will be airlifted to the Holy lands”.
The Chairman of the State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing) further assured that efforts are being intensified to secure visas for the intending pilgrims who are yet to get them.