The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) held an interactive meeting with Nigeria’s Ulama community on the importance of confronting disinformation and unsubstantiated rumour about the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Speaking at the session held on Monday, 8th March 2021 at the Chelsea Hotel, Zakariyya Maimalari street, the NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, revealed that the meeting was essentially to interact with them on the activities of the fourth board; to seek their advice as veterans on Hajj matters, to request continuous prayers and to solicit their support for sensitization and mobilization of potential subscribers for the Hajj Savings Scheme.
Most importantly, Chairman Kunle Hassan informed the gathering that though 2021 Hajj remains still hope, the Commission has been in constant touch with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 to ensure early and adequate Hajj travel arrangements based on the new normal of the pandemic.
He commended the Ulama team for the vital roles they have been playing in keeping Muslims informed about the Covid-19 pandemic, appealing to them as a body of Ulama to continue to be at the forefront of advising Muslims to adhere strictly to the Federal Government protocols on the pandemic.
Speaker after speaker at the parley reaffirmed the importance of enlightenment on Covid-19 and other Hajj related matters. According to one of the participants, Hajj itself has gone beyond the spiritual realm to also include diplomacy, security, medical and national assignments among others.
Therefore, the Ulama need to be well informed on Covid-19 protocols to breakdown such information during sermons in the mosques to the level of the layman’s cognition. Towards this end, another participant advised members to combine relevant medical knowledge with Islamic activism in the interest of the Ummah.
NAHCON was advised to be pragmatic as well as commended for its recent achievements. Most speakers in the forum assured the fourth board of their support.
Hajiya Rafiat Sanni also spoke extensively on the need for the commission to be proactive on the issue of uniforms during hajj to protect women from falling prey in the hands of the Saudi Arabian Police for mistaken identity.
She also pleaded with the commission to find a way of extending their weekly programme (As You Answer the Call) into other languages like Yoruba, Hausa Igbo and others stating that it will help in reaching out to the grassroots with effective information.
Over 50 members of Ulama that cut across states, geopolitical regions and different Islamic organizations attended the meeting. The NAHCON chairman was supported at the parley by Commissioner Planning Research Statistics, Information and Library Services, Sheikh Suleiman Momoh, Commissioner, Policy Personnel Management and Finance, Alhaji Nura Hassan Yakassai, Commissioner and Commissioner Operations, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji Hardaway. Other management staff were also in attendance.
Prayers were offered by four selected clerics who were in attendance.