The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has debunked a message trending on social media alerting Christians not to attend a crusade tagged, “We Are One” because Muslims planned the crusade with the intention of bombing the venue in order to kill all Christians in Nigeria. The organisation’s director, Professor Ishaq Akintola in a statement described the message as fake news and advised Nigerian Christians to ignore it.
“We are aware of a message now trending among Christians on social media. The message which was meant for Nigerian Christians only was leaked to MURIC through a patriotic and true Christian. It said that the crusade was planned by Muslim leaders and it will be holding in all the states in Nigeria at the same day and time,” MURIC said. MURIC urged Nigerians to ignore another rumour concerning the hijab, saying that fake newsmongers claim that Muslims in the South West were advocating for the use of hijab as identity by their women and female school children because Muslims plan to launch terrorist attacks.
The group said, “This is atrocious. It is far from the truth. It is also illogical, false, baseless and unfounded. Nigerians should not allow themselves to be hoodwinked by rumour mongers. How is this possible? If the hijab is to serve the purpose of identifying Muslim women in the event of a terrorist attack, what of the Muslim men? ‘’If the attack is to happen in schools, what of the male Muslim students? How will the terrorists identify Muslim male students so as not to attack them? It is sheer bunkum, balderdash and poppycock twaddle. “We urge both Christians and Muslims in the country to go about their businesses without any fear.”
Lagos Secretariat Mosque tasks Muslims on trust
The Management of Lagos Secretariat Community Central Mosque (LSCCM) has called on all Nigerians particularly those entrusted with public funds to manage the resources with fear of Allah, saying everyone will give account of his stewardship.
Speaking at the Annual General meeting of the mosque held at the Lagos State Secretariat Mosque Multi-purpose Hall, Alausa, the Executive Council Chairman, Dr. Afolabi Abiodun Tajudeen, who gave the charge while rendering account of his stewardship in the management of the mosque’s resources, said Allah would question everyone entrusted with public funds.
Tajudeen commended the past and present commissioners of Ministry of home affairs for their innumerable contributions to the progress and development of the mosque, adding that the job that the Secretariat community places on the exco is enormous, tasking and quiet challenging.
But he said: “Despite the challenges, members of the EXCO were highly determined and prepared to confront the job head-on and triumph. Alhamdulillah with Allah’s guidance and support we have been able to record credible achievements worth reporting and celebrating. It just a third of the journey as we still have two more years to strategically deliver, meet and surpass your expectations in sha Allah.
“Having hit the ground running immediately after our inauguration on 27th September 2018, we put in place strategic plans and ensured compliance with underground rules that are sacrosanct for attainment of our laudable objectives for the Mosque. The strategic thinking and brainstorming sessions, though stressful, have yield satisfactory results.
He noted that the exco institionalised prudence, economic and judicious use of Mosque resources to exclusion of all forms of financial indiscipline, wastage and environmental infractions.
“It pertinent at this junction to add that as part of the Exco commitment to cost cutting strategy and additional dedication, all refreshment for servicing the meetings were donated on rational basis by members, who also resolved in their little capacity to forfeit allowances occurring to them from stipends received from the office of the Chief of Staff to further boost the monthly revenue of the Mosque.
NAHCON: Why NSCIA, JNI nominees’ names missing from Buhari’s list
The names of representatives of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Jammatul Nasiru Islam (JNI) were missing on the list of 16 nominees sent for the National HGajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON’s) by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate based on delay to submit those names b y the two major Islamic organizations.
President had on Monday submitted the list for Senate approval pursuant to Section 3 Sub-section 2 of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Act 2006.
The Senate, he noted, “may wish to note the names of representatives of the Jammatul Nasiru Islam and the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs will be sent to the Senate subsequently.”
Meanwhile, the list of the nominees as contained in a letter addressed to the President of Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan and read at plenary, reads; “I am pleased to forward for confirmation by the Senate the under-listed names of nominees for the positions of Chairman and members of the NAHCON.
“This nominees are: Sikiru Hassan, representing Osun, South-West- Chairman; Abdullahi Magaji, Executive Commissioner, Operation Inspection and Licensing, Bauchi ,North-East; Nura Yakassai, Executive Commissioner, Policy, Personnel Management and Finance, Kano -North West; Momoh Imonike, Executive Commissioner, Planning, Research, Statistics, Information and Library, Edo, South-South and Halima Jibril, (Mrs), part-time member, representing Niger, North-Central.
“Other part-time members are Abba Jatto, Bornu, North East; Garba Umar, Sokoto,North-West; Ibrahim Ama, Ebonyi South-East; Sadiku Musa, Delta, South-South and Akintunde Olayinka(Mrs) Ogun, South West.
“Others are representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) which includes: Shehu Dogo, Ministry of Aviation, Nura Abbarimi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rabiu Isa, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
“Others are Zainab Sheriff, Ministry of Health, Aminu Yerima, Nigerian Immigration Service(NIS) and Ibrahim Ishaku, representing Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN).
“The Senate may wish to note the names of representatives of the Jammatul Nasiru Islam and the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs will be sent to the Senate subsequently.
“While I look forward to the usual expeditious consideration and confirmation by the Senate, please accept distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
Meanwhile, political players in the country have been advised to de-emphasise material wealth as a criterion for eligibility for political offices.
The Muslim Ummah of South-West Nigeria (MUSWEN) gave the advice in a communique after its fourth General Assembly held recently in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The umbrella body of Muslims and Muslim organisations in the south-western part of Nigeria also charged the faithful who belong in the various political parties in the land to set aside their differences and unite in the pursuit of matters relating to Islam and national development.
Pilgrims to pay N1.5m deposit each as countdown to 2020 Hajj begins
Intending pilgrims for 2020 Hajj are to pay a deposit of between N1 million and N1.5 million deposit each as countdown to the operations begins.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), New Telegraph gathered, has begun the allocation of quota to pilgrims boards in 36 states across the Federation.
Jigawa State Pilgrims Welfare Board, which confirmed the allocation, noted that it secured 1,472 hajj seats from the National hajj commission for 2020 hajj exercise.
Each of the pilgrim, he said, is to pay a deposit of between N1 million and N1.5 million, pending the official announcement of the fares by NAHCON.
Fielding questions from newsmen in Dutse, the state capital, the Director Operations of the state’s pilgrims welfare Board, Ahmed Labbo, maintained that the board had already distributed the seats to 27 Local Government Areas of the State for sale to prospective intending pilgrims in the state.
The state Governor Muhammad Badaru has authorized the board to commence the 2020 hajj preparations, he said.
The materials for the work, Labo added, were distributed to zonal offices for the preparation of the hajj exercise,
“N1.million to N1.5 million has been proposed as hajj deposit for the state’s intending pilgrims pending the announcement of next year’s hajj fare by the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON),” the Director Operations pointed out.
Pilgrims from the state are allowed to pay the proposed initial deposit through the thirteen zonal officer’s of the state pilgrims welfare board, he said pilgrims shouldn’t pay money to any individual or group, Mr Labbo said.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State government has warned intending pilgrims in the state and their coordinators to be wary of fraudsters.
Chairman of the state pilgrims’ welfare board (Muslim wing), Professor Sayed Malik, gave this warning while briefing newsmen in his office at the Hajj Camp, Olodo, Ibadan.
Malik hinged this warning on complaints from intending pilgrims concerning registration for the next hajj exercise.
He stated that the board did not give any condition different from the existing ones for the registration and did not authorise any individual or organisation to collect hajj fare on its behalf.
MS Muslim students demand education funding’s monitoring
The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has charged government at all levels to provide adequate funding for the education sector and monitor such funding so as to ensure its optimal use by the benefiting schools and higher institutions.
The body gave the charge in a communique after its 2019 annual national conference held at the conference hall of the University of Ibadan central mosque.
The conference also featured the second edition of the National Conference of Muslim Students in Secondary Schools (NACOMSISS) and national quiz and debate themed ‘Nigeria Muslim Youth and Contemporary Challenges: Towards a New Education Strategy’.
According to the communique, the aim of the programme was to build the capacity of secondary school students, curtail the menace of the examination malpractice and encourage moral uprightness, family values, patriotism and unity among the ummah.
The MSSN urged teachers to take the issue of computer training beyond mere theory in government and privately owned schools and engage the students in practical trainings such as desktop publishing.
It decried the increasing rate of examination malpractice among students and urged the government to set up a task force to monitor and moderate activities of tutorial centres and extramural classes assisting this cause.
The body also joined the call on the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) management to reconsider its position on the expulsion of two Christian corps members from Ebonyi State camps on account of their religion’s way of dressing.
The MSSN, which called on the political class to be accountable to the people, underlined the need for the government to pass a bill that “exerts serious punishment on looters rather than recommending killing for hate speech.”
Urging the government to prevail on management of schools which deprive and often chastise female Muslim students for wearing hijab on their uniform, the MSSN described wearing of hijab by female Muslims as a religious obligation which enjoys the backing of the constitution “as an inalienable right.”
It urged the government to go beyond rhetoric in addressing insecurity of lives and properties of Nigerians and urged religious leaders in the country to enlighten their followers about godliness and issues that promote the unity of the country.
In his address, the national president of the MSSN, Dr Taofeeq Yekinni, said the rationale behind the annual programme was to re-enact the culture of educational competitions which, according to him, has been downplayed in the Nigerian public education sector, among secondary school students.
He said the programme provided an avenue to develop the students’ potentialities in competitive skills.
The grand finale held on Saturday featured the final round of the debate competition, prize giving and a keynote address by the special guest of honour, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.
Other dignitaries at the occasion include the chairman of the Muslim Community of Oyo State, Alhaji Ishaq Kunle Sanni; the chairman of the University of Ibadan Muslim community, Professor Yahya Kuta; the Chief Imam of UI Central Mosque, Professor Abdur-Rrahman Oloyede; Professor Wole Abbas and Alhaji Femi Abbas.
2020 Hajj: NAHCON begins license pre-qualification for service providers
…brings scheme to Nigeria for first time in 8 years
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has, for the First time, Inaugurated Hajj Committee to Pre-qualify Licensing of Service Providers well ahead of time as a way of fast tracking 2020 Hajj Operation.
This, the commission said, is in 8 years the first time the it is conducting this assignment in Nigeria not Saudi Arabia.
“This is because the process is entirely digitalized, thereby saving cost and consolidating new dawn of transparency and prudence in efficient & effective Hajj Service delivery,” NAHCON said in a document sighted by New Telegraph.
The Committee was inaugurated by NAHCON Acting Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad at Hajj House Abuja.
Some of the Terms of Reference of the Committee are to practically harness resource management and eliminate allegations of corruption, to give opportunity to States to have list of companies ready for Inspection and negotiations; and to list names of service providers in Makkah, Madinah and Holy Sites (Masha’er).
Other reasons according to the commission are to Evaluate the documents and confirm integrity of the companies; to ensure no any litigation against any state with NAHCON or Saudi Arabian Authorities; to ensure the companies have valid documents and authorization to conduct this type of business with Nigerian Pilgrims in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The acting Chairman urged the Committee to be guided by fear of God and Pilgrims’ trust in order to secure best services in strict adherence to standards.
The Operations Commissioner Abdullahi Modibbo Saleh, introduced the Committee members.
Director Muhammad Hammajoda is to chair the eleven-member committee and he said they will conduct the job diligently and submit report immediately.
FCT, Oyo and Zamfara states will represent States Pilgrims Welfare Agencies, Boards and Commissions.
Yobe gov offers cars, Hajj slots to winners of Qur’an recitation contest
Yobe state governor, Mai Mala Buni, has donated cars and hajj slots to the winners of the Qur’an recitation competition organized by the Yobe State Arabic and Islamic Education Board in the state.
The winners, according to a report, also went home with other prizes and gifts.
The competition, it was gathered, drew participants from all the 17 local government areas of the state and the winners will represent the state at the national Qur’an recitation competition scheduled to hold in Lagos soon.
Maina Mohammed from Machina Local Government Area was the overall winner in the complete Qur’an and Tajweed, male category.
Malama Halima from Damaturu Local Government Area clinched the first position in the female category with each winner receiving a new Toyota car and an offer to perform hajj from the governor.
Governor Buni, who represented by his deputy, Idi Gubana, at the closing ceremony of the event, advised Muslims to always consider investing in the cause of Allah by rendering services for the good of humanity.
“We should also, as good Muslims, continue to associate ourselves with the noble ideals of the religion by spending our wealth in the promotion of all that is good and beneficial to the larger society and abhorring all that is forbidden,” he said.
The governor charged the winners of the competition to work even harder as they represent the state in the forthcoming national Qur’an recitation competition so that they could have a chance to represent the country at the international level.
“Your impressive performance would, therefore, inspire the upcoming generations and from there, our dream of becoming one of the most respected Islamic centres of learning would be realised.
“As for those participants who could not make it to the national level, I would like to urge them to take heart and work harder for the future,” he said.
The Executive Secretary, Arabic and Islamic Education Board, Mohammed Gujba, thanked the governor for his support which led the successful completion of the competition.
2019 Hajj: 3,500 pilgrims get N36.58m refund for poor, unrendered services
3,500 Nigerian pilgrims from the 2019 Hajj have been reimbursed with N36.582 million for services that are poorly rendered or not rendered to them during the operations.
The pilgrims, checks by New Telegraph showed, are from Kaduna state, NorthWest Nigeria.
The Kaduna state pilgrims board, a report by Hajjreporters read, confirmed the commencement of the payment of the sum of N10,452,32k each to over 3, 500 pilgrims that performed the 2019 hajj from the state.
The Head of Operation, Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Board, Alhaji Sani Dalhatu Musa, who confirmed this, added that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) had already given the refund to the state’s Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board.
“We are starting refund tomorrow and each pilgrim will receive 10,452,32k as the refund of service not rendered which NAHCON has refunded to us,” he said.
Meanwhile, the national hajj commission of Nigeria has released the pilgrim’s registration guidelines for both states Muslim pilgrim’s welfare boards and Tour Operators pilgrim for 2020 hajj.
The new guidelines are to serve as direction for the sales of hajj seat to intending pilgrims that will perform the 2020 hajj seats.
According to NAHCON, “the guidelines were issued with a view to have an effective pilgrim’s database so as to maintain an adequate information system and proper coordination of Nigeria pilgrims in line with the commissions’ mandate”.
Part of the conditions spelt out to private travel operators by the commissions states that “All licensed tour operators must provide registration centres in their offices and that such registration must be carried out within working hours.”
Lagos to host over 1000 delegates for Quran competition
At least about 1,000 delegates are expected to participate at the 34th National Qur’an recitation competition holding in Lagos State.
Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Otunba AbdulFatahi Olukoga, who disclosed this, said that Lagos State being the cosmopolitan state, is fully ready to organise the Qur’an recitation competition like other states of the federation that had successfully hosted the highly rewarding competition.
Olukoga, who described the competition tagged “Lagos for Qur’an 1441 (2020)” as annual event that brings together Muslim youths who have committed the Qur’an to memory from all the states of the federation including the federal capital territory, said that Lagos was doing everything possible to make the hosting of the annual competition successful.
According to him, the winner of the national competition would represent Nigeria at various international competitions which hold in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and other Muslim countries, adding that it was interesting to note that Nigeria had emerged the first in the international competition.
Noting that Lagos has last hosted the competition since 1992, Olukoga, a former Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, said that part of the challenges of hosting the competition in Lagos are that the influx and the caliber of people coming into the state for the competition are usually intimidating enough to engineer provision for their stay during the competition and that the competition has grown enough to draw government attention awareness.
He explained that the competitions were in different categories with star prizes ranging from brand new cars, tricycles, cash and other consolation prizes for the winners and runner ups in the competition that will kick off on the 27th of December, 2019 and end on 4th of January 2020.
NAHCON reads riot act to state pilgrims’ boards, tour operators
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has read the riot act to States’ Muslim pilgrims welfare board in Nigeria over fear of improper utilization of funds for Hajj and Umrah services.
The commission also warned Licensed Tour Operators over high number of complaints received from 2019 pilgrims on services being rendered not being commensurate with package paid for, stated that it would look into the complaints.
Giving this hint in a statement, NAHCON declared that the pilgrims boards must also run separate accounts for Hajj and Umrah.
Stating its readiness to monitor the accounts of Hajj operators, NAHCON maintained in a statement by Head of Public Affairs Unit, Fatima Sanda Usara, that it would “ensure full compliance and proper utilization of the funds.”
The commission also gave a green light to states Muslim pilgrims welfare board in Nigeria to venture into Umrah operations in order to boost their revenue profiles.
The go-ahead was given during the “NAHCON’S review meeting Of 2019 Hajj and first preparatory meeting On 2020 Hajj In Hajj House with SPWB/A/Cs and Licensed Tour Operators,” the statment5 read.
Usara said that “Part of the agreement reached at the meeting according is that SPWBs will be allowed to conduct Umrah operations to boost their revenue generation at the state level.
However, NAHCON urges state pilgrims boards to ensure that they utilise qualified staffs for the Umrah operation.
“They must have dedicated and certified staff to run the Umrah services. They must also run separate accounts for Hajj and Umrah and NAHCON will monitor the accounts to ensure full compliance and proper utilization of the funds,” Usara said.
The statement read; “The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, (NAHCON) held its review meeting of 2019 Hajj and first preparatory meeting on 2020 Hajj firstly on Thursday, 24th October 2019 with Chief Executives of Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards/Agencies/Commissions. Those in attendance, apart from the two stakeholders earlier mentioned, were NAHCON Board members, its executive officers and management staff. The Commission’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Barrister Abdullah Mukhtar Muhammad chaired both review meetings.
“The gatherings generally acknowledged the improvements made in the 2019 Hajj operations and in order to sustain the successes so far achieved, there was a call to maintain the spirit of teamwork and consultations. Also both gatherings congratulated NAHCON for moving into its new office. They described the building as a prestige to Hajj operations in Nigeria and good legacy of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The following are some of the issues discussed. On Makkah/Madina accommodation it was agreed that funds for booking of lodgings would be deposited early and directly to building owners for cheaper bargains. During operations, each state must deploy a minimum of one official to Madinah in advance of its pilgrims’ arrival for smoother coordination.”
On the issue of Masha’ir: in reference to the retreat in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifa, the Commission lamented the several requests for extension of deadline for registration as compounding the Mina congestion problem.
“Therefore NAHCON cautioned both state boards and Licensed Tour Operators to abide by early registration and to stick to deadlines. The Commission assured that if this arrangement is respected, there is certainty that service providers in Saudi Arabia will reserve adequate space for pilgrims as requested in a formal communication.
“It is in relation to this that the Commission approved status quo to be maintained on remittance of Hajj fare; deadline for closure of registration will be announced in due course. Intending pilgrims are to deposit about N1.5m in three instalments to their states’ pilgrims’ boards in bank draft.”
As for Licensed Tour Operators, due to number of complaints received from pilgrims on services being rendered not being commensurate with package paid for, the commission said that measures have been taken to ensure that the package a pilgrim pays for is what will be served to them.
“Towards this, the Commission will define types of packages available and cost of each. The packages will be publicised in the mass media. Consequent upon this, state boards and Licensed Tour Operators must register all their pilgrims on the e-portal and particulars of the intending pilgrim be supplied on the portal. The Commission will not tolerate pilgrims being registered on portals other than that which it is created for. This deviation has hitherto remained an impediment to reliable data bank for security reasons, research and reference purposes.
“Similarly, Tour Operators have up to November 30th to submit online application forms for 2020 Hajj license to avoid disqualification.”
Boko Haram not Islamic sect, group tells media
Media organizations in Nigeria and abroad should desist from addressing Boko Haram insurgents as Islamic sect, an international group, the Organisation of Islamic Conference (IOC), has said.
What the Boko Haram members do, a document of the IOC sighted by New Telegraph on Thursday showed, is “a criminal act; it has absolutely nothing to do with Islam.”
Secretary General of the group, Eyad Madani, had earlier said during a three-day visit to Nigeria that activities of Boko Haram “are anti-Islam.”
The IOC scribe said: “The OIC has issued statements that … these people are outlaws. What they do is criminal act, it has absolutely nothing to do with Islam, Islamic teachings, the religion of Islam, the history, the culture, the civilization of Islam and we should identify them for what they are: as a terrorist group.”
The group in the new document reiterated that it is solidly behind Nigeria in its fight against insurgents.
“We are also here to express our solidarity with Nigeria in facing up to this terrorist organisation and to condemn all terrorist acts they have been committing, and to show our condolences to the Nigerian people, to the families of those who were affected,” the IOC said.
Fielding questions from newsmen during his last visit to Nigeria Mr. Madani said the OIC delegation discussed its visions and priorities with the Nigerian government.
The organization, Madani said, intimated the President on what the OIC could do in terms of expressing its support, and its willingness to be actively involved in the war against the terrorist group.
When asked what concrete support Nigeria should expect from OIC, the Secretary General said since the crisis is multi-dimensional, OIC could be involved in many ways.
He said one of the ways OIC could be involved, is to “first to declare its position morally, to declare its position from the religious point of view.”
He said the conference is not a religious group, but a political organisation that has 57 member states, and each state is represented in the conference as a government.
“Nigeria is a member of OIC at the government level, so is Indonesia, so is Senegal, Saudi Arabia amongst others.
“But it has to express its concerns about the misuse of Islam morally and ethically. We are willing to do that if Nigerian government would allow us to.
“We will convene an inter-faith dialogue, because we feel that there is a lot to be said about the veracity of these (Boko Haram) claims, and to show the many aspects of similarities and living together between not only Christians and Muslims, but between all faiths and convictions,” he said.
He said Africa is a model of such tolerance, and its history is a history of tolerance, and that of living together. He added that the OIC, through its different organs, is available to the request of the federal government and would do all it could to help in alleviating the social and economic conditions in any area affected by the activities of insurgents.
The Federal Government, in a reaction to IOC’s stand noted; “the fact that the OIC has expressed its position of support and understanding at this hour of our challenges goes to show that OIC is playing its role to support any of its member states who had any problem, either socially, economically, religiously or otherwise.
“So this is something that should be a message to every Nigerian that OIC is a body that is willing and eager to come to the aid of its member states as is being known and explained by the secretary general.”
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