Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State on Wednesday ordered the immediate arrest of four Hajj officials of the state for their refusal to pay Basic Traveling Allowance, BTA, to some pilgrims.
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Abubakar Dakingari, said Mr. Bagudu gave the order when he received complaints from about 20 pilgrims who were not given their BTAs up to the time of boarding.
The affected pilgrims, who are mostly women, are from Gwandu, Sakaba, Arewa and part of Jega Local Government Areas.
Mr. Dakingari expressed dismay over the Hajj officials’ negligence and lack of concern towards the welfare of the intending pilgrims.
“The governor instantly nominated a four-member committee made up of Chief of Staff, ADC, CSO and Sani Dododo to ensure the affected persons are given their full BTAs and those involved fully punished,” he said.
Commenting on the state government’s commitment to the welfare of Kebbi pilgrims, the governor’s spokesman said arrangements were being made to transport 500 Kebbi pilgrims stranded after their flight developed fault before takeoff on Wednesday.
“It was about at about 2:30 this morning of Wednesday that Max Air carrying over 500 intending pilgrims to Holy land developed a serious technical problem before its takeoff, a situation that compelled the pilot to abort the trip after attempting for three times.
“The pilgrims are however in high spirit as no casualty was recorded except for some minor illnesses attended to by health officials. The state government later fed them while at the airport, just as speedy arrangements are being made to provide them with another plane,” he said.
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