The Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) has described the appointment of Alhaji Dhikrullah Olakunle Hassan as the new Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) as apt.
In a congratulatory message to the new Chairman which was signed by Abdur-Rahman Balogun and Tajudeen Adebanjo, National President and National Secretary respectively, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a Muslim from the South West, to head the Commission.
The apex Muslim body for Media Practitioners in the country said that Hassan's appointment by Mr President is a demonstration of our belief in Mr President's detribalised nature.
"We have no doubt that Hassan's appointment is a square peg in a square hole going by his achievements as the helmsman of the Osun State Muslim Pilgrims Board for eight years."
Besides, Hassan is an erudite scholar with wider acceptability and one of the contemporary scholars whose views on topical issues are in tandem with Quran and Sunnah. "We believe that he will live up to the expectations of millions of Nigerian Muslims and surpasses the achievements of his predecessors in office.
"We are not unaware of the landmark successes recorded by immediate past Chairman, Abdullah Mukhtar.
"We urge Hassan to improve on them and fine-tune the hajj process with the support of other members of the Commission." MMPN advised.
As the watchdog of the society, MMPN implored the new NAHCON Chairman to see how hajj could be brought to the level of commoners, whose financial predicament is a big stumbling block to their desire of performing the last pillar of Islam by seeing to the reduction in Hajj fares.
"We also want the Chairman to look into the man-hours lost boarding of flights to and from Saudi Arabia. Reduction of that time is achievable as been practised by the private hajj operators and other Nationals.
Similarly, accommodation in Madinah and Makkah needs to be looked into. Many Nigerians are housed far from the Masjid Haram especially in Makkah. This deprived them in observing five daily prayers in Masjid Haram and other acts of ibadah as many times as they wish and also denied them of some facilities.
Meal is another big challenge for pilgrims especially in Madinah, Muna and Arafat where NAHCON is in charge of providing meal for all the pilgrims. The group urged the commission to liberalized the provision of meals, serve varieties of meal according to the taste of different tribes going to hajj.
'Those who get the contracts of providing the meal must take note of what certain tribe loves to eat and provide it instead of the one-type-of-meal fits all.
MMPN assured the new chairman of partnering with the commission in other areas such as media awareness and advocacy and hajj logistics geared towards improving hajj services in Nigeria.