At least 150 intending pilgrims to this year’s hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, have been duped of their hard earned money by their travelling agent (name withheld).
This was as the intending pilgrims, all international pilgrims, have turned the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and the mosque within the environment to their abode as they bath and sleep there. National Mirror learnt yesterday that each of the pilgrims had given the agent at least N950, 000 for visa processing, airfares and other logistics.
The pilgrims, who were from Ogun, Osun and Oyo States, clad in traditional attires were expected to travel to Mecca last Friday with Qatar Airways, but unfortunately, they couldn’t do so as planned as their visas was not released to them by the agent.
However, our correspondent learnt that Jeddah Airport in Saudi Arabia would officially close today, which means that if they were not able to travel yesterday night or early today, their hopes of participating in the 2013 hajj exercise to Mecca, would have been dashed.
One of the pilgrims, Mr. Abdulwasiu Adeyemi, from Abeokuta, Ogun State, said he had been at the airport as early as 7.00am last Friday, but was yet to travel to the holy land.
According to him, he paid the agent N950, 000 for the visa processing, air ticket and other logistics, but that as at last Friday, his international passport containing the visa was not given to him by the agent.
He added that the passport was only given to him and some others yesterday, just as he said that they were told to pay additional N280, 000 for a return flight ticket for the exercise.
He said; “I’ve never had any business deal with this company (the travel agent) before this one, but I am still astonished at the way we are treated by him.
“He told us to be at the airport as early as 10.00am last Friday for our flight with Qatar Airways, which we complied with, but unfortunately, our passport and visas were not given to us by the agent as he claimed that they were not ready then.”
Source: National Mirror