The Plateau State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board says it has refunded over N18million to its 2018/2019 pilgrims for services not rendered in the Holy land.
Barr. Auwal Abdullahi, the Executive Secretary of the Board told Journalists on Tuesday that the refunds were for feeding, transportation and accommodation for days not spent in the State of Medina.
“We were supposed to spend six days in Medina but we ended up spending two days or so. The total number of pilgrims about 1198 were refunded monies not used for feeding, accommodation and transportation during those days,” said Auwal in Jos.
A similar refund was made to the State Government, for tasks not carried out, said the Official.
The Board refunded N23.9m to pilgrims for same services not rendered in 2017, it was learnt.
“If not God, no one knew about those monies. We could have split them among ourselves without anyone knowing but for the fear of God, we refunded them without touching a penny.
“Other officials would go to Government to demand refund for extra spending but we have never done that. Instead, each time we go for Hajj, we return with extra funds that are utilized in the running of the Commission,” Auwal said.
The ES appealed for Media partnership to grow the Board and society.
“Media can make or marr any country. The power of the pen is greater than the power of the gun.
You can be in one corner of your room and post something that can change the whole world. A gun cannot do that. At most with your ammunition before you kill a few people, you’d be overpowered and subdued. But in a corner of your room, you can write something that can change the whole world,” he said, calling for conflict sensitivity in media reportage.
Chairman of the Plateau Bloggers and Online Media Association, Friday Bako pledged the Union’s readiness to partner for the progress of the agency.
According to him, the online Journalists had a mandate to protect societal peace and promote unity for development.
“We are organized enough to control information shared by our members and will do everything to prevent misinformation, hate speech and fake news,” he said.
The media professionals were in the ES’s office to discuss partnership, which ended with commitments from both sides to work for mutual gains.