SHOCKING: Nigerian pilgrim shortchanged by hajj official, gets $10 instead of $800

Photos of Garba Bakono, a pilgrim from Nasarawa State, displaying two $2 US and four $1 US denominations and envelope handed to him, that was supposed to contain $800.
Photos of Garba Bakono, a pilgrim from Nasarawa State, displaying two $2 US and four $1 US denominations and envelope handed to him, that was supposed to contain $800.

Garba Bakono, a Muslim pilgrim from Nasarawa Local Government of Nasarawa State, has narrated how official from his state gave him six pieces of $1 bills and two pieces of $2 bills instead of eight pieces of $100 US bill as his basic transport allowance.

Mr. Bakolo, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES in Madina on Saturday evening, shortly before being transported to Makkah, said he was nearly lynched by a shop owner when he ignorantly tried to pay for some goods with the money.

“That was when I realised that, I have been shotchanged by one Hayatu, an official of Nasarawa State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, who distributed the BTA to us after spending four days at Abuja Airport before our departure on Sunday,” he said.

The pilgrim said he was at the Abuja pilgrims camp penultimate Thursday, before he and other pilgrims were finally airlifted on Sunday with the third flight to Madina.

“We were only advised to ensure we receive eight pieces of the dollar currency, during the intending pilgrims enlightenment program at home. So, we ignorantly did not take notice of denominations,” he said.

Our reporter learnt that the envelop containing the money handed to the victim with his e-passport at the camp, did not bear his name, as noticed on other pilgrims’ envelope that contained the exact denominations.

Help however came to the victim, when our PREMIUM TIMES reporter and an Inspection and Compliance team from the National Hajj Commission , NAHCON, put a call to the executive secretary of the board, Abubakar Nalaraba, in Makkah.

Mr. Nalaraba referred the case to the chief security officer of the board, Aliyu Aboki, who was on ground in Madina.

Mr. Aboki said names of all intending pilgrims were written at the back of the envelop containing the $800 (in $100 bills) alongside e-passports handed to each pilgrim.

“If his name is not written on the envelop, then how does the name tally with the name on his e-passport?” he questioned.

“He is supposed to be either in the first or second flight, but, we wonder how he ended up coming in the third flight,” he said.

Mr. Aboki directed some officials to make immediate refund of full BTA to the pilgrim.

“The first measure, as you can see, is for the pilgrim to be paid his full BTA of $800, as we commence full investigation into this unfortunate incident,” Mr. Aboki told the team of NAHCON officials and PREMIUM TIMES.


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    This is how abokis are wasting our money meant to train out layers, doctors, engineers, nurses, scientists, artists, etc.

    They are transferring this huge amount to Saudi who rightfully treat them like lepers over there.

    Look at them!

    We need the UN to approve the Israeli model of a two state solution quick!

    • Malcom X

      Mr Africana you said abokis are wasting your money, please can you explain how the money is yours? Are you aware that most of the people who went for hajj this year are farmers? The VP was quoted to have said so and that is due to bumper harvest last year. So please calm down it’s not oil money because before oil there was farming and after oil there will still be farming. The man used his hard earned money to pay his way, straight and simple.

      • Frank Bassey

        The farmers’ forex were SUBSIDIZED with state fund, that is the point Africaner is making.

        • SeniO.

          Any idea how much subsidy they received? It will be great to clarify as this is not part of the premium times report above.

        • 0tile

          Where did the state get the fund, is it not from my oil?


        So, in your logic, what’s mine is “ours” (oil money), and what’s yours (farming) is yours?

      • robin

        Islam the religion of Terrorist by Terrorist and for Terrorist

      • If your analysis is to be followed, then why will NAHCON official be giving them BTA. It’s deceit, all of them are sponsored by state governments.

      • 0tile

        Don’t preach to me that before oil there was farming because – I getam before no be propati.

  • Frank Bassey

    Satan duping Satan.

    • robin

      Islam the religion of Terrorist by Terrorist and for Terrorist……………..

    • 0tile

      Don’t blame the victim, it is ungodly to dupe a prayerful man who traveled all way from Africa to Arabia on holy pilgrimage to stone the Devil.

  • Bright Ezeh

    Nigeria corruption in every thing even in the religious affairs


      All corruption are not equal; the greatest sin in my book is hypocrisy; if abokis and muslims claim that they are the most righteous, and we come to find out that they are just as corrupt, if not more, than the other tribes, then the hypocrisy adds a tremendous weight on their corruption, it’s no longer mere corruption, it becomes a SIN to God, and EVIL to mankind.

      I normally give a pass for not building anything, or go to school, because they claim to be worshiping their god, but if it turns out they go there to continue their corruption, and yet not go to school, then what’s left of these people? Name one singular virtue? They score no goals for our Eagles Football teams, they build no monuments for our future generations, they win no Nobel Prizes, they create no dance-able music a DJ can spin on the dance floor, what in the name of blazes are we doing living with these people? If they are now going to Saudi to disgrace Nigeria, the UN should intervene and implement the 2 state solution.

      One good thing that will come out of the Buhari disaster is the unification of the other tribes of Nigeria against his minority Fulani! 5 Million Fulanis ruling 170 Million real Nigerian Mumus!

      • Reginald Dandeson

        I wonder when Nigerians will wake up to this reality.

      • Mufu Ola

        U’re so petty

    • Epsilon_Delta

      $800 distributed freely? Insane!

  • El Patron

    Mumu pilgrim. Dumb as a rock

    • 0tile

      Don’t blame him. Have you not been cheated by unscrupulous money changers before? You see, Our Lord had to whack the money changers out of the Temple Gate.

  • Riot50000


  • Liberty

    Kudos to Premium Times.
    May Allaah continue to grant you the courage, strength and wisdom to carry on with this struggle for the liberation of our dear nation as well as the reclamation of the stolen future, destiny and dignity of her citizens.
    God Bless you all!

  • Du Covenant

    This is yet another reason why government should have no business in organizing fellow citizens to go for religious pilgrimage. These parasites are everywhere in the system and will continue to show their ugly faces.Poor innocent man, God will payback to this official on your behalf if the system fails to do the needful.

    • 0tile

      You know, it is the will of Allahu that he was shortchanged. He shouldn’t complain.

  • I still can’t fathom why Nigerian government is sponsoring pilgrimages either to Mecca or Jerusalem. This is mandated by God with clause that if the person is capable not compulsory for everybody if you don’t have the means. Money spent on these can be channeled to other meaningful infrastructures that will bring development to the country. There are still many communities or villages in Nigeria without primary health center, potable water, electricity and motorable roads. Even some so-called cities have no those amenities.
    May God help us in this country and give us a leader that his/her thinking facaulty is working

    • 0tile

      You too don’t understand. A religious federal government like ours cannot afford not to send their prayerful citizens to Makkah and Medinat for holy pilgrimage.

  • omo56

    Pensioners not paid, no health care for youth, most state governments owe thousands of their staff salaries. Where is it in the Bible and or Koran that government sponsored pilgrimages is mandated over provision of general welfare of citizens?

    • 0tile

      You don’t understand. Be aware that there is always copious chicanery going on during holy pilgrimage to Makkah and Medinat. When an invisible hand hands you fresh dollar bills the last thing on your mind is that they cheated you until you go out to spend the money.

  • wilsongaga

    Even distributing such largess as religious benefit for religious jamboree is another fraud itself, people should us their own money for pilgrimage be it Muslim or christian all these nonsense are draining our economy, can’t our leaders be wise for once? Going to heaven is personal why should government fund it?

    • 0tile

      Don’t begrudge the Islamic government for their generosity toward their people, Imam promised them all these in his brief campaign. If you were a devout muslim man you would appreciate Imam Buhari more.