Over 1,000 pilgrims from Lagos State undergoing the hajj operation in Saudi Arabia have grumbled against state government officials over poor accommodation arrangement.
The Lagos State Government had assured the 3,885 pilgrims before embarking on the pilgrimage that adequate accommodation had been arranged for them in Saudi Arabia.
Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Alhaji Oyinlomo Danmole even boasted that the government had secured accommodation for the over 3,000 pilgrims in a 20-storey five star building in the holy land.
The government added that since the creation of the state 40 years ago, no set of pilgrims had enjoyed this kind of facilities and accommodation that the current pilgrims would enjoy in Saudi Arabia.
All the promises were not met and on Wednesday, over 1,000 pilgrims expressed their anger over the shoddy accommodation arrangement, saying that the government had deceived them.
One of the pilgrims currently in Saudi Arabia reported that at least over 1,000 pilgrims from the state who arrived Al Musfalah Hotel, one of the two hotels for Lagos pilgrims who arrived in Mecca from Medinah in the early hours of Wednesday were left to roam and sleep in the hotel lobby.
Some of the pilgrims who expressed their displeasure also condemned some of the state officials who abandoned them without any care.
The pilgrims accused Danmole and others officials of the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrim Board for not coming to their aide.One of the pilgrims, who craved anonymity, said he had been sleeping in the hotel’s lobby for the past two days, saying he would no longer tolerate the poor accommodation arrangement.
It took the intervention of the Chairman, Lagos Hajj Ad-hoc Committee, Alhaji Abdulhakeem Abdullateef to calm frayed nerves and assured that the situation would be looked into urgently.
Meanwhile, two pilgrims not from Lagos were found sleeping in accommodation provide for Lagos pilgrims in connivance with some unscrupulous government officials. According to Abdullateef, some of the non-Lagos pilgrims were discovered yesterday during a house-to-house search for rooms for affected pilgrims.
He said they claimed to be pilgrims from federal and were lodged in one of the hotels by some of the state officials, adding that 150 pilgrims had secured accommodation through the exercise while those without rooms were still staying in makeshift mosques in the two hotels.
Abdullateef, who slept with over 30 pilgrims in the mosque, said he had given out his room to some of them. He accused some of the state government officials of not coming to his assistance to resolve the issue on time, adding that he has urged them to also give out their rooms to the pilgrims.