Following the inauguration of Barrister Zikirullah Hassan as the Executive Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), reactions have taken over the media sphere as many described his appointment as timely and ‘a round peg in a round hole’.
Barr. Zikirullah officially resumed office yesterday and loads of congratulatory messages and reactions have been coming from Muslim personalities, groups and leaders with many asking him to pay special attention to the welfare of prospective pilgrims.
They also advised him to use his vast experience as the immediate former Amirul hajj of Osun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board to ensure transparency and be a good ambassador of Islam.
The acting Registrar of Summit University, Offa, Ustadh Mustapha Kadiri applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment, describing Alhaji Zikirullah as the right person.
According to him, “I am very much delighted with the news about the appointment of Alhaji Zikirullah Hassan. It is more like a round peg in a round hole.
“His priority should be to improve hajj services in all ramifications such that every Pilgrim under state or private operators will have the full value for their spending and sacrifices.
“As an Islamic leader and teacher, former National Amir MSSN, the training is adequate for him to excel on the assignment. May Allah make the task ahead easy for him.
Speaking on his appointment to Muslim News Nigeria, the Chairman, New Crescent International Travels, Alhaji Sulaimon Ogunmuyiwa described his joy upon his appointment and boasted of his confidence in his sincerity and purity of purpose.
“I received the news of the appointment of my mentor, Ustadh Zikirullahi Hassan with great joy and I give thanks to Allah. It was a great news because the Hajj industry is going to witness unprecedented positive changes, In Sha Allah. I have a lot of confidence in his sincerity and purity of purpose.
“I remember 2016 when I stepped into the Hajj and Umrah service as a private operator, he was my mentor as my pilgrims and I travelled with him as part of the Osun State contingent. He displayed exceptional leadership ability which made the trip memorable. It was a news of thanks for only Allah made it possible as a recompense for the sacrifices of past years.
“I wish to suggest that his priority should be focused on how Hajj arrangements could be better planned to give both state and private operators enough time to do the needful for a hitch free Hajj starting with accommodation and visa processing.
On what the future holds, he said “My expectation is that Nigerian pilgrims will enjoy better facilities and care in the holy land”.
Renowned author of ‘We Believe in All Prophets’, Ustadh Abdullah Ginya called on the new Chairman to look into the sudden hike in Hajj tickets which generated controversy and liaise with Islamic banks towards making provisions for the poor to save for the fifth pillar.
In his words, “There was a sudden hike in the hajj ticket. This has generated a deserved controversy, the price hasn’t been reduced as expected either. His priority, if I may suggest, should be the downward review in the price of hajj tickets.
“Going forward, I would expect him to interface with the Islamic banks to not only promote but make mainstream, the package that will enable the poor save for hajj, length determined by their saving capacity”, he buttressed.
Interacting with Nigerian most authoritative Islamic newspaper, Amir, Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Surulere Central Branch, Ustadh Ghazali Yusuf advised him to pay rapt attention to pilgrims’ welfare and work judiciously toward transforming the Hajj commission.
In his words, he made this known, “Well, what I think should be his major priority is pilgrims’ welfare. He should focus on improving the activities carried out by the commission in an ingenious way.
“This is a way the staff of the commission as well as pilgrims will enjoy his tenure and the nation will be proud to have him there. More importantly, the reason for his appointment is not far from his achievements as the Amirul Hajj in Osun state where he was serving. Those who concluded on his choice did not make a mistake, he is a round peg in a round hole.
On his expectations, he said, “My expectation of him of course, are enormous. As a Nigerian and as a Muslim, I expect him to be a good ambassador. I expect him to transform the Hajj Commission in such a way that subsequent chairmen would build more on his achievements and the government will not descend low in appointing other persons who possess lesser qualities.
“I expect him to make hajj operations easy for Nigerian pilgrims, I expect him to reduce the rate at which some Nigerians are perpetrating illicit acts in Saudi Arabia as they tarnish the image of the country, I expect him to make Nigeria’s delegation one of the best in the world in terms of conduct and organisation. You can see how enormous that is. So he should sit down with his team and work hard. The advantages are for Islam in specific and Nigeria in general. May Allah help him,” he concluded.
Zaria-based scholar, Ustadh Bashiru Musa sue for transparency in Hajj operations and further admonishes about the unity between Muslims of the West and North.
The Ustadh having learnt the new chairman was an activist said, “He should ensure transparency in all Hajj operations so that people can be rest assured and confident in him.
“He should also use his office to further consolidate the good relationship which had overtime existed between the Muslims in the West and the North”.
A senior lecturer at Yaba collect of technology, Yabatech, Shokunbi Morufu expressed joy over the appointment, hoping that he would surpass the achievement of the previous administration.
He urged the incoming chair of NAHCON to see the possibility of Hajj fair reduction, assurance of acceptance of hajj, and that the right persons go to Makkah.
+ What you should know about Zikirullah Hassan
Profile: Born on 26, June, 1961, the Osun State born NAHCON Chairman designate speaks Yoruba, Arabic and English.
Ustaz Hassan who holds a BSc degree in Business Administration from the University of Lagos, LLB from the Lagos State University and BL from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, was Chairman/Amir Hajj of Osun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (2010-2018); Senior Special Assistant to the Osun State Governor on Religious Affairs, (2010-2018); Principal Counsel, Olakunle Hassan & Associates (2006-2010) and Chief Executive, Tafsan Tours &Travels, (Official Hajj & Umrah Operator of Nasirullahi Fathi Society of Nigeria- NASFAT).
He is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees of FAJR Centre (A standardized Centre for Memorization and Teaching of Islam & Arabic ) from 2019 till date and was Chairman, Forum of State Chairmen and Secretaries of Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board Agency between 2014 and 2017 and currently the Director of Dawah (Islamic Propagation) of The Companion ( An Association of Muslim Men in Business and the Professions since 2004.
The NAHCON Chairman Designate was Amir, Muslim Student Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos Area Unit 1984- 1986; National President, MSSN 1986-1988; Secretary, Africa Secretariat of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) 1986-1990; Member of the Committee of Ulama of Lagos State Pilgrim Welfare Board Hajj Exercise, 2000-2002; Amir, The Companion, Lagos District 2004-2006 and Executive Secretary, NASFAT 2004-2006. Chairman, Osun State Pilgrims Welfare Board 2010-2018.
A member of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ustaz Hassan who is happily married with children has attended several conferences and seminars on Hajj in London and Malaysia and has won several awards from NAHCON for the Osun State Pilgrims Welfare Board.
By Abdul Waheed Shotonwa, Labeebah Dhikrullah
Additional information from thestateonlinengr.com
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