The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has concluded arrangements to airlift over 3,000 pilgrims from the territory to perform this year's Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
The Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, who disclosed this on Thursday during the inauguration of the FCT 2012 Amirul Hajj Team, said the pilgrims would be accommodated in the new Permanent Hajj Camp built by the Administration.
She said, "the FCTA has fast-tracked the completion of the permanent Hajj Camp along the Airport Road because of its proximity to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and in order not to disrupt the school calendar of the Secondary School used as temporary Hajj Camp in Gwagwalada.
"In addition to serving as camp for FCT pilgrims, the permanent hajj camp will also serve neighbouring states of Kogi, Nasarawa and Benue for the airlifting of their pilgrims."
The FCT 2012 Amirul Hajj Team is led by Gen. Abdullahi Bagudu Mamman (Rtd) and has as members Alhaji Atiku Kurawa, Alhaji Mustapha Isma'il Khalifa and Alhaja Habeebat Babata-Sulaiman, who has been appointed as secretary of the Team.
The minister charged the Amirul Hajj Team to ensure that the pilgrims adhere strictly to the operational guidelines and the laws of the host country governing the pilgrimage.
She explained that the members of the Amirul Hajj Team were reappointed based on their credible performance last year.
"We are all witnesses to the fact that the FCT Administration was commended by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to be the best in excellent service delivery in the country in Hajj Operations.
"We have retained the Team because of the stupendous work done in 2011. It is hoped that your reappointment will afford you the opportunity to evaluate the operation and bring-up areas of improvements as I can count on your forthrightness, dedication and dynamism," Akinjide stated.
She highlighted the terms of reference of the Hajj Team to include: general supervision and coordination of all activities of the entire operation from Nigeria and back to Nigeria; to ensure safety and security of pilgrims; to ensure adherence to all rules governing the Hajj Operation; to ensure effective implementation of the Administration's policies and programmes as they affect Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board; and to submit a report on the 2012 Hajj Operations.
The FCT 2012 Amirul Hajj, Gen. Mamman, expressed the members' appreciation to the minister for the confidence reposed in them while assuring that the Team would work assiduously to accomplish its task.
"We pray for Allah to grant us strength and wisdom to achieve more than we did last year. We need the cooperation of everyone to achieve the tasks set before us," Mamman stated.