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Hajj: Nigerian pilgrim officials arrested, taken to Saudi Prison

By Garba Ahmed, Makkah, Saudi Arabia on 14/09/2015

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The Coordinator, National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) Makkah, Alh Suleiman Usman, has disclosed that some Nigerian pilgrim officials were arrested and taken to prison by Saudi security.

Usman made the disclosure while representing the Chairman/CEO of NAHCON, Barr Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammed, during a condolence visit by the Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Umar, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday night, to three Nigerian states that lost six pilgrims in the Makkah crane tragedy.

The six Nigerians who died are one male from Kaduna State, four females from Gombe and one male from Katsina.

The coordinator said the officials that included Nigerian medical personal were arrested on their way back from Jidda by Saudi security for embarking on a trip outside Makkah without official permit.

“We are trying to secure the release of our pilgrim official who was arrested alongside his medical team in their ambulance and taken to prison by Saudi security while on their way back from Jidda,” the coordinator said.

Usman, who did not disclose how many officials and the state which they are representing, appealed to pilgrims to desist from traveling out of Makkah without official permit, at least until after Arafat.

“Pilgrims should not leave Makkah at least until after Hajj and with official permit, before any pilgrims can travel for any other reason. They should also ensure adherence to the laid down rules and regulations of the Saudi authorities,” he said.

He added that rescue officials during the Grand Mosque crane tragedy were able to identify Alhaji Adamu Shuaibu Kargi from Kubau Local Government Area of Kaduna State who died among the 107 pilgrims from his uniform because he was not carrying his identification card.

“We were able to identify the deceased from Kaduna State by his uniform because at the time he was not carrying his Pilgrims Identity Card and the hand identification band. But we commend our pilgrims for wearing their uniforms all the time,” he said.

Earlier, the Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi while delivering President Buhari’s condolences to the affected state pilgrims on last Friday’s Grand Mosque crane tragedy, said the Saudi authorities are taking all necessary measures to know what actually happened in order to avoid its re-occurance in future.

“They are also taking all kinds of measures to ensure that this kind of disaster does not happen again,” he added.

•Photo by Garba Ahmed shows President Buhari’s envoys during the condolence visit on the Makkah grand Mosque tragedy . . . last night in Saudi Arabia.

Source News Express

Posted 14/09/2015 3:16:49 PM

 

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