2017 Hajj, NAHCON and the real face of saboteurs

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By Hassan Machido, Kano  
I am neither a soothsayer nor prophet but I know what the future holds. I can describe tomorrow with specific details. I can herald the precise sequence with which events will unfold. I can name names, quote quotations and tender proofs. I can because I know.
But before anybody finds a reason to approach me with personal or matrimonial impasse for projection or mistake me for some traditional foreteller, there is a caveat that comes with my powers. Unlike mainstream foretellers, the secret of my predictions is not intuitive or speculative. So the impending eventualities I am about to unravel are a benefit of my exposure to the critical details of an evil plot I used be part of. Unlike foretellers, my prediction here will be a confessional narration of a future I regrettably participated in bringing about. A firsthand revelation of certain details of a plot of sabotage of a system of reform being championed by a man whose distant image was mischievously painted to reflect that of corrupt monster but which upon a closer glimpse reflects humility, industry and revolution. So far the most open-hearted public servant I met. This, I must say at the risk of being tagged a puppet and in spite of my incurable nausea for praise-singing.
On the 7th of June this year, two of the six-man syndicate currently responsible for imbuing the social and public spaces of the country with anti-NAHCON slogan summoned me and requested me to invest my skills and fraternity with some popular cybernauts and civil society advocates to promote their cause. As is natural with every evil cause, at the beginning, they clothed their evil motives with beautiful pro-masses attires in order to blur the lines and make the stance appear honorable. And they succeeded because no good Samaritan would listen to their plausible sermon and refuse aiding their idea or care about verifying their apparently perfect argument. It will naturally appeal to and compel every decent individual to swing to action. What could be more honourable than a struggle seeking for relief and justice to Nigeria pilgrims? What could be noble as piloting the job of mounting all kinds of pressure to force a surreptitiously inflated Hajj fare to succumb to fairer terms?
But like Denning MR puts it- you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stay. An imposter cannot pretend forever. Soon after my acceptance to serve, the real colour and motivation of the mission began to surface. It became almost evident that the struggle had nothing to do with the plight of pilgrims. But I persisted in the struggle anyway because the side I was fighting appeared to me to be a greater evil.
Restlessly however, I began to ask questions. I began to wonder why suddenly, people who worship money and assets are now devout and priestly preaching God. Why they had to invest so much time and resources to get the task done. So I began to research and like the proverbial cliché goes “inquirers never get lost.” Upon deeper inquiry, I learnt that the syndicate I was spending about 5 hours of my time daily to promote is neck-deep into some shady maneuvers that are detrimental to the nation’s image and economy. They are exploiting the advantage of some old loopholes in the system of Hajj operation and which the present NAHCON administration is busy blocking. Then I connected the dots.

I figured out that I was alone in the fight I should be deputising. I was the only one with no pecuniary vested interest in the struggle to trigger legislative amendment of the NAHCON Act in order to divest the commission of some of its key functions which these corrupt saboteurs fear have stood in their way to their evil pastures. I was the only one with non-personal grudge against revolutionary pilot of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria- Barr Abdullahi Muktar MON whose loud-and-clear administrative reforms and policies since 2015 have proven to be simply unfavourable for the atmosphere of corruption. So I concluded, “I am in a typical case of corruption-fighting-back.”
Since my first engagement with them on the 7th, we held fifteen different meetings at many locations. Sometimes in hotel rooms and other times guest house or residents of one of the key profellers of the syndicate in question. I was very closely engaged because I minuted every single meeting held. I was also given the task of perfecting two out of the six-point agenda of the syndicate. I was responsible for contact handling with social media and non-governmental pressure organisation- I handled the tiring job of inciting lot of youth against leaders and activist against NAHCON. I aided immensely in making NAHCON one of the most popular government agency in Nigeria today. The remaining four agendas being executive, legislative, judicial and clerical approaches, I carried out the secretarial job of record keeping. I kept the lists of senior and influential citizens of the above mentioned categories and the goals we aimed to achieve through them. We designed short and long term plans we in time, intended to unveil.
We had names for each of the six plots and until today 4th of July, 2017 the alpha and beta lines of action were to simultaneously activate within the week or next, a judicial and executive time-bombs- a legal suit to stall certain vital activities of the commission and an executive process to at least if not immediate sacking, discourage a second term of the chairman. I shall tender to the press solid evidence in due course in this regard. I shall also care to share with any interested media house a recorded phone conversations with very influential Nigerians aiding and making up the saboteur syndicate against NAHCON and its chairman. I will share their specifics and append detailed evidence.
The third plot was a covert arrangement with one of legislative houses to re-summon, this time to a plenary session, the NAHCON boss in the guise of intervention of a heated national polity and an unending public agitation which the syndicate will soon provoke. These are a pinch of the bulky plots. These are the predictions.
My advice to Nigerians at the moment simply remains; never ever rush into taking side should anything unfold. Never listen to one side of an argument. Never trust calumny campaign without vetting your facts. Never believe my confessional narration until you employ logic. Do not pass any verdicts without utilising the all-time principle of natural justice in all cultures and generation and religion- Audi alterem patem- “always hear the other side.”
I must confess also that the rage and steadfastness with which they pursue the present NAHCON reforms is rather dastardly. The touches are enough to unseat even the most entrenched government appointee. They investing everything possible- they made bureaucratic contacts and secured visas to jet out of the country to meet the president, they paid huge sums to obtain subversive documents. They distributed funds. They endured the onerous protocol appointments snag and made draining midnight calls. They secured tougher reach outs and organised seminars. They engaged existing incorporated trustees and placed orders for securing new. They flooded traditional and social media with Anti-NAHCON decibels. They plotted executive, legislative and judicial plots some of which yet to be unleashed. They engaged Muslim and Christian and law makers to either neutralise their stance or woo them to the side of their calumny campaign in the up-coming legislative intervention Nigerians should be expecting. They lured thousands into vouching. They are dangerously mischievous.
In spite of the intense negotiation by the NAHCON chairman to trim down the Mekka and Madina accommodation fare and reserve for Nigeria pilgrims proximal and high-class lodgings with conveniently walkable distance from the Haram, the saboteurs are even more seditious. A day to the just concluded NAHCON’s stakeholders conference and ten years anniversary for the establishment of the commission, the Federal Executive Council approved NAHCON request to purchase the popular Metro Plaza edifice at N2.5bn, making it the first ever permanent building of the Hajj Commission in history. The massive edifice with a central structure containing enough offices and an over 500-sitter conference facility at first and second floor has an independent water treatment plant, two industry-sized standby power generator and a huge packing space to accommodate over 600 cars. The two large wing structures of the Plaza are in excess of the demand of the commission and the commission intend to rent them out and generate revenues.
The commission enjoyed a good bargaining power in the transaction that even the most reluctant real estate agent in the country cannot dare call the deal anything but excellent. But the saboteurs are at it again questioning the source of the funds and alleging double-dealing as to why Mr Abdullahi refused to develop the NAHCON’s land in the FCT. As if the chairman heard their laughable contention, he answered them appropriately in the just concluded conference. In his words, “government projects spanned decades to complete and we mean this business. The process of altering the town planning purpose for which land is granted is not easy one.” As a lawyer, the learned professional knows better than others that statutory and corporate entities are legal persons. There is nothing wrong with neglecting a plot of land for job ready plaza at a giveaway price. And two is greater than one. I think I should dedicate a piece to elaborate the achievements of the humble man I mistook albeit misleadingly for a monster. At least to clear my conscience.
Finally,I blame Barr Abdullahi Muktar for keeping calm when his name is being smeared. I blame him for doing nothing but believing the cliché “truth shall set him free.” Again for the records, I want to unequivocally declare that I am out. I quit because the theme of the agenda which I was recruited to promote has changed. The syndicate has metamorphosed from being the pro-masses one it is supposed to be to another that is fueled by vested interests and evil effrontery. In the words of Dr Usman Bugage in the just concluded conference, “Hajj in Islam is neither fun, nor joke nor a past time for self-aggrandizement”. I shall therefore never take part in any mission to sabotage any intelligible reform or smear any good man doing a good job. May the merciful lord have mercy on us.

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