Kaduna State pilgrims who are currently in Makkah, Saudi Arabia for the 2023 Hajj exercise have expressed delight over the way and manner they are being treated in the Holy Land.
Some female pilgrims interviewed during a sermon session organised by officials of the Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency in one of the female accommodations in Makkah described their sojourn in Makkah as “awesome”.
Sharing her experience, an aged first-time pilgrim from Kauru Local Government Area of the state, Safiya Musa said “through the guidance of officials of the agency, I was able to complete my umrah (lesser hajj) rites with ease.
She expressed satisfaction with the treatment she had received thus far saying, “even in my house I cannot get better food and accommodation. We eat well with lump-size meat, we sleep on comfortable beds and there is water.”
Another first-timer from Igabi Local Government Area, Asiya Baba Saleh said she was happy to have been able to spend seven days in Madina.
“The days I spent in the Holy Land have been a worthwhile experience because I am one of the affected pilgrims of last year. I was so devastated when I could not go but Alhamdulillah, we are here this year and everything has been going smoothly through the aid of the officials of the agency”, she said.
As far as Nurat Suleiman Onoyumj from Igabi was concerned, every step of the journey was memorable.
“Honestly, everything is in order because even at home, it is not everything I could get. So, I appreciate what is being given to me and how we are being treated.
“The officials guided us through our Umrah rites and we are grateful for that because there is no point paying all that money and not performing the Islamic rites you are supposed to perform”, she said.
On her part, a pilgrim from Zaria LGA, Hussaina Saidu who had given up hope of going to perform the spiritual exercise, thanked Allah for making her journey possible.
“I had already given up hope of making the journey but Allah called me. I enjoyed my stay in Madina as much as I am enjoying my stay in Makkah. I can only commend the officials of the agency for ensuring all pilgrims are comfortable.
“Another initiative that baffled me is the fact that there is a mosque in the hotel where we get lectures from a learned teacher who is one of the officials of the agency and also for the aged and sick who cannot make the trip to the grand mosque,” she said.
The story was not different for the male pilgrims, Alhaji Muhammad Mustapha from Ikara LGA said he is fulfilled knowing he has performed the lesser hajj through the guidance of the officials of the agency.
He said, “The accommodation is good, we have been experiencing riding elevators every day, something I had never done before, the feeding is exceptional, I ate rice with chicken with Zamzam water. With the way Kaduna pilgrims are being, many will find it difficult adapting back to their normal lives (laughs).”
However, Sanusi Hamish Bandi who corroborated Mustapha’s story, thanked Allah for allowing him to fulfill one of his Islamic rights.
Also, Dr. Muhammad Sani Musa, a pilgrim from Kaduna South, noted that anyone claiming that Kaduna state pilgrims are being marginalised in Makkah is giving false accusations.
According to him, “there have been immense improvements in accommodation, feeding and the general wellbeing of pilgrims as where pilgrims were kept in the past, have been demolished and rebuilt.