2021 Hajj: NOA, NAHCON to strengthen collaboration




The Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr Garba Abari, has said that the Agency would collaborate with National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to ensure hitch-free 2021 Hajj operations in 2021.

Abari said this in a Statement after NAHCON officials led by its Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, paid him a courtesy visit on Friday, in Abuja.

Abari said NOA and NAHCON were optimistic that Hajj, a major pillar of Islam, would hold in 2021, unlike the year 2020 when it could not hold due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

Abari added that the necessary measures must be put in place to prevent the spread of the virus through strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols at all stages of the hajj process.

He said that the NOA/NAHCON collaboration was critical to the success of Hajj operations as it sensitised potential pilgrims in their own dialects to what to expect and how to behave during the pilgrimage.

“NOA State and Local Government officials serve as credible channels of information for potential pilgrims at the community level where they speak the local dialects to create the necessary sensitisation for a hitch-free pilgrimage,” he said.

Abari described Hajj sensitisation programme of the Agency as important to intending pilgrims.

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According to him, it includes interactions with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs), women organisations, youth organisations and community leaders.

He further said that the agency would provide informative materials for easy mobilisation and pre-Hajj orientation.

According to the statement, Hassan says the Commission is in NOA to leverage the Agency’s robust platforms to orient and sensitise the Muslim Ummah in all nooks and crannies of the country.

He said that the 2021 Hajj sensitisation would include persuasion of pilgrims on the reality of COVID-19, the need for precautions, testing and the need to avail themselves of vaccination when the vaccines became available in the country.

Hassan said that he was hopeful that the COVID-19 vaccine would be available soon and in good time for the vaccination of the 2021 Hajj partcipants.

He thanked the NOA for its continued support for Hajj operations and called on the Agency to intensify its sensitisation in the areas of COVID-19 testing and vaccination.