KATSINA – Alhaji Muntari Lawal, the Amirul Hajj for the 2019 Hajj exercise in Katsina State, has revealed that some of the state pilgrims were accommodated in a house abandoned for 16 years in the Holy Land.

Lawal made the disclosure on Thursday, while presenting the 2019 Amirul Hajj report to Governor Alhaji Aminu Bel­lo Masari at the Government House Katsina.

According to him, the said house, which had been unoc­cupied for the past 16 years, was inhabited by rats and other rodents, adding that both the female and male pil­grims were all accommodated in this same house.

He noted that the narra­tive by pilgrim officials that the house for pilgrims was secure and close to the Holy Mosque was all lie, adding that some of the houses were 50 kilometres away from the Holy Mosque.

He further decried that all the ambulances and vehicles for the hajj operations for the state in the Holy Land were immovable due to lack of par­ticulars for easy movement.

Lawal stressed that, the am­bulances could not go to Ma­dina, Arafat, Muna and other places because they did not have the required documents.

Similarly, he said anoth­er major problem was the intrusion of private (Muja­bala) pilgrims from Katsina State, who often dislodged le­gitimate pilgrims from their rightful accommodation.

He disclosed that during the 2019 Hajj exercise 150 legitimate pilgrims were dislodged by the private pil­grims, adding that he had to personally call the governor and additional funds were re­leased to secure accommoda­tion for the stranded pilgrims.