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Hajj Reporters hails Nigeria’s quick response to maltreatment of pilgrims

By Garba Ahmed in Madina, Saudi Arabia on 24/08/2017

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 •Nigerian Hajj pilgrims listening during an elnghtenment programme organised by NAHCON. Photo: Ga
•Nigerian Hajj pilgrims listening during an elnghtenment programme organised by NAHCON. Photo: Ga

An NGO, Independent Hajj Reporters, has commended the federal government for taking immediate and proactive steps in seeking redress for the two Nigerian pilgrims reportedly manhandled by the Saudi Arabian security agents in Madina airport.

A statement on Wednesday, by the civil society’s national coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammed and Publicity Secretary, Abubakar Mahmoud, said the prompt response of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia and the Nigerian Charge de Affairs in seeking redress for the two Nasarawa State pilgrims is commendable and unprecedented.

Last week, two Nasarawa State pilgrims were allegedly manhandled by the Saudi security forces on arrival at the Madina Airport.

It was reported that immediately after the issue was reported to the NAHCON office in Madina, NAHCON Executive Secretary, Dr Bello Tambuwal, petitioned the Saudi authorities and alerted the Nigerian Embassy in Riyadh to the unfortunate incident. 

“However, after NAHCON’s petition and the Charge de Affairs prompt action, the kingdom, through the Governor of Madina, expressed shock over the incident and promised to decisively deal with the security personnel involved,” the group noted.

The Governor of Madina, represented by his deputy, Ambassador Dr. Wahid Alsihli, alongside the deputy Minister in Charge of Hajj and Umrah Affairs, Muhammad Abdurrahman Bijawy, visited the hotels where the two Nigerian pilgrims were residing and personally apologised to them, NAHCON, and the Nigerian government.

The civil society said while it appreciated the apology tendered by the Saudi authorities, it however urged them to curtail the excesses of some their overzealous security forces especially during Umrah and Hajj period.

“Whoever enters the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for umrah or hajj does so in heeding the call of the Almighty to fulfill their religious obligation and must be treated as special guests of the almighty, and accorded with all respect and courtesy,” the statement added.

Source News Express

Posted 24/08/2017 05:09:02 AM

 

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