Speaking on Thursday in Maiduguri before inauguration of Sheikh Goni Gapchia as the new Chairman with fresh members of a reconstituted Pilgrims Welfare Board, Governor Shettima extolled the virtues of the deceased Chairman of the Board, promised his continued support for his family and announced that henceforth, the magnificent building housing the Pilgrims Board is to be known as “Prof. Tijjani El-miskin Memorial Complex”. The building was commissioned by then Vice President Namadi Sambo shortly before he flagged off the 2013 national hajj airlift in Maiduguri, which held on Saturday, 14th September, 2013.
Shettima called on the Chairman and members of the reconstituted Board to come up with internal steps aimed at safeguarding pilgrims from the State with reference to the 2015 Hajj stampede.
“Last year, there was tragedy of a global scale during the hajj. We know that all stakeholders are trying to avoid a repeat but we must also come up with our own local strategies to safeguard our pilgrims. Let me also use this opportunity to announce the renaming of the Borno Pilgrims Welfare Board Complex to henceforth be called Professor Tijjani Elmiskin Memorial Complex. This is in honour of the late Chairman of Borno State Pilgrims Welfare Board who died working for the welfare of our pilgrims. We have to immortalize him in addition to standing by his family and praying for him and all those who died in the stampede. The Commissioner for Religious Affairs should immediately rename the building within two days” the Governor said.
Earlier in his introduction of the occasion, Mustapha Fannarambe, the State’s Commissioner for Religious Affairs, listed giant efforts made by the Shettima administration in improving hajj operations. “On the issue of accommodation which is one of the most important aspects of pilgrims’ welfare, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria rates Borno State the best in the entire federation and this almost every year within the last five years of the Shettima administration. We ensure timely airlift and return of pilgrims, give free ihrams and support pilgrims with some amount of money to buy individual rams for hadaya. These interventions are very important to our citizens” the Commissioner said.