NEWS Kaduna pilgrims allege diversion of Zamzam water
Protest by Kaduna State pilgrims that returned from Saudi Arabia yesterday over alleged diversion of Zamzam water nearly escalated but for the quick intervention of Customs officials.
Daily Trust gathered that the plane that returned the pilgrims to Kaduna landed with about 620 (5)-litre gallons of Zamzam water, but a senior official of the Hajj commission allegedly attempted to divert 500 gallons of the water.
One of the pilgrims from Sabon Gari Local Government Area, Barrister Muhammad Saminu Abubakar, said trouble began when the vehicle carrying the 500 gallons attempted to leave the camp.
“About 300 of us returned at about 3am today (yesterday). Based on the arrangement, no pilgrim was allowed to carry Zamzam into the
plane, but on arrival each of us would be given a five-litre gallon of the holy water. Our plane landed with 620 gallons, but a senior official of the Hajj commission ordered his men on ground to divert 500 gallons to his house. When the pilgrims got wind of that, they started protesting. They also stopped the van carrying the 500 gallons”, Barrister Abubakar said.
He added: “Everyone here is annoyed, because this is religious matter, yet some corrupt officials are attempting to cheat. They did the same to our colleagues that returned before us. I think it is time the Kaduna State and federal government look into the activities of Hajj, because there are many issues that need to be addressed”
The Assistant Comptroller of Customs in charge of Kaduna, Musa D, said nobody has right to move the Zamzam water out of the camp since it was meant for the pilgrims.
Our correspondent reports that the comptroller then supervised offloading of the water for distribution.
Customs officer in-charge of the camp, ASP II Abubakar Zakari, on his part said, “I am not permitted to talk to the press, but as you can see, our intervention has saved the situation and the distribution is going on smoothly.”