Strike: How Aircraft Meant To Convey Nigerian Pilgrims For Hajj Returned To Saudi Empty – MURIC

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has raised an alarm over the effect of the strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on thousands of Nigerian pilgrims and the airlifting operation of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON). 

In a statement, on Monday, MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said a plane sent to airlift pilgrims from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia was turned back by striking aviation workers.

He lamented that the aircraft was forced to return to Jedda airport in Saudi Arabia empty.

“Meanwhile, thousands of Nigerian pilgrims are now in danger while the airlift operation has already been halted. Thousands of Muslim pilgrims who have left their homes for the airports are now stranded.”

“Nigerian Muslims are now asking NLC why it had to declare a national strike at a time more than 60,000 Nigerians are being airlifted. The families of these intending pilgrims are now in a high state of fear and anxiety.

“Apart from the confusion and hardship which the ongoing NLC strike constitutes to preparations being made by Muslim faithfuls for the Id al-Kabiir festival, the lives of Muslim pilgrims are now under palpable threat. Is this not sabotage? Is this not intentional? Can a national union of NLC caliber say it is unaware of Muslim preparations for hajj and Salah?” Akintola said.

He urged the NLC to immediately call off its strike as Nigeria would not gamble with the lives of thousands of Muslims who are already in camps.

“This strike hits the most sensitive nerves in the anatomy of Nigerian Muslims. Call off the strike immediately or face the wrath of Nigerian Muslims nationwide.

“This is an emergency and it has to be handled with speed. The lives of more than 60,000 Muslim pilgrims are in danger and the Federal government must move to save them.

“In case NLC fails to heed our appeal by 8 am tomorrow Tuesday, 4th June, 2024, we call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to declare a state of emergency. It is already clear that recalcitrance is in the DNA of the present NLC leadership.

“NLC leaders have detached themselves from the rest of Nigerians. Their demands are irrational and superfluous. Nigerians no longer trust it’s leadership. Only a state of emergency can rescue the country from the vice grip of NLC,” Akintola said.

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