Hajj 2024: NAHCON debunks report of purported pilgrims’ poor feeding

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has refuted claims of poor breakfast being served Nigerian pilgrims.

A Facebook account of one Babagana Digima reported of poor breakfast being served Nigerian pilgrims after paying N8 millon as Hajj fare.

Clearing the air on the claim in a statement, Tuesday, NAHCON Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara said: “After addressing the shared story from its root, we believe ethical journalism would not permit a sensible practitioner to lift a story solely from a Facebook source.

“What is more unfortunate is that the Facebook reporter is here in Nigeria, not in Saudi Arabia.

“Upon citing the story early this morning, NAHCON immediately drew the attention of the originator of the story privately and publicly to the inaccuracy of his claims to allow him to correct the wrong impression assuming he posted it innocently, unfortunately, he did not.

“Still several testimonies were posted on his page by pilgrims on ground in Makkah, disclaiming the allegation with pictorial evidences, while NAHCON staff on the platform also provided a clear description of the actual meal that was served, proving that the picture was doctored and that it was fake news conclusively.

“Unfortunately, Sahara Reporters ignored the responses and the free facts supplied on the page in preference for the sensational side. The medium simply amplified a lie it picked on Facebook with the doctored picture of today’s breakfast served to pilgrims of FCT in their hotel in Makkah, Nama Al- Asriya Hotel and spread it as news.

“The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria urges the public to ignore the fake news being circulated pertaining the FCT pilgrims’ breakfast. The story is not only false but also appears to be malicious.”

Meanwhile, the Commission has assured that the pilgrims’ Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) will be received accordingly.

 “As at 24th April 2024 when NAHCON paid BTA differential for the pilgrims, the dollar exchange rate was N1, 252 to a dollar thereby N626, 000 was paid to be exchanged at value of $500 (Five hundred dollars). This is the figure that the Hajj stakeholders had agreed upon and which NAHCON declared and still stands by,” the statement explained.

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