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Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello on Monday said the state would no longer sponsor pilgrims to Holy lands of Jerusalem and Mecca.
Decision to this effect was contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace in Minna.
The governor said the present economic challenges in the country informed the decision of government to stop forthwith state sponsorship of intending Muslim pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia and Christians to Jerusalem in Israel.
“In view of the present national economic challenges – a situation well known to all, sponsorship of pilgrims to holy land to perform pilgrimage has been put on hold with immediate effect.
“Government is committed to supporting our people in fulfilling their religious obligation but the dwindling economic fortunes of the state, in the face of other equally people oriented demands, sponsorship of pilgrims to Hajj and Jerusalem is hereby suspended,” the governor state.
He however said that government will continue to be responsible for the sponsorship of officials to the holy lands to facilitate and ensure hitch free pilgrimage to either lands.
Gov. Sani Bello then assured the people of his administration resolve to meet its obligations to the Governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia for a hitch free pilgrimage and to ensure welfare of pilgrims whenever on the holy lands.
Jibrin Baba Ndace
Chief Press Secretary
16th May, 2016