MURIC:”5 years ago, MURIC launched a campaign urging the FG to withdraw from pilgrimage affairs”

MURIC:"5 years ago, MURIC launched a campaign urging the FG to withdraw from pilgrimage affairs"The Federal Government’s N100.7 billion subsidy for the 2024 Hajj trip is a required rescue package, not a handout, according to the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). Prof. Ishaq Akintola, the Executive Director of MURIC, claims that this subsidy takes into account the unique situation that pilgrims who had already paid for their travel expenses but were negatively impacted by the depreciation of the Naira encountered, as Vanguard reported.CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>

Akintola noted that the government’s intervention was crucial in alleviating the burden on these pilgrims, who otherwise would have suffered significant losses due to the currency fluctuation.

Amidst controversy over the subsidy, with critics questioning the large allocation for religious purposes during economic hardship, Akintola explained that the subsidy was necessary due to the unforeseen changes in currency value after pilgrims had already made their payments. He stated that the pilgrims did not request the subsidy, but the government acted to prevent further financial strain on them.

Akintola further stated that under normal circumstances, government intervention in pilgrimage matters would be unnecessary, as Muslims are capable of managing the pilgrimage independently.

He stated, “Ordinarily, we have argued that under normal circumstances, there would be no need for government intervention in pilgrimage matters. About five years ago, MURIC (Muslim Rights Concern) launched a campaign urging the federal government to withdraw from pilgrimage affairs.

“Muslims can manage pilgrimage on their own; this year alone, at least 65,000 Muslim pilgrims went for Hajj. When such a large number of people pool their resources and manage them properly, they can return with profits. Therefore, we suggested that the government should withdraw its involvement.”

However, Akintola acknowledged the complexity of international travel requirements, which necessitate some level of government involvement for issues such as visas and protocols. He pointed out that regardless of the pilgrims’ religious affiliations, any responsible government should assist its citizens traveling abroad when they encounter problems. Akintola asserted that the so-called subsidy was simply the government aiding pilgrims whose funds had lost value due to international economic factors, preventing potential chaos and ensuring the pilgrims’ welfare.CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>