By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
As inaugural flight of intending Muslim pilgrims to 2019 Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia commenced on Wednesday, Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NIDCOM) has warned them to resist any temptation to take hard drugs to Saudi Arabia, reminding them that it attracts death penalty.
Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement by his Media aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, noted that despite repeated warnings and workshops for intending pilgrims, it was disheartening that some Nigerians still ran foul of Saudi Arabia authorities’ law.
She recalled that some Nigerians caught with hard drugs in the last few years are still currently on death row in Saudi Arabia, pleading with pilgrims to shun the shameful act.
Dabiri-Erewa equally reminded the pilgrims that kolanuts and prescription painkillers in large quantities have been banned in Saudi Arabia, and if found, attracts severe penalties according to new Saudi Arabia regulations.
She said the Federal government through the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and various state boards have made adequate arrangements to attend to the medical needs of the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.
Similarly, she said the Saudi authorities have free medical centres in all the nooks and crannies of the Kingdom equipped with all drugs for their medical needs.
She urged the security agencies and other para-military stationed at the various departure centres in Nigeria to screen the pilgrims before their departure to Saudi Arabia.
Dabiri-Erewa advised Nigerian pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the country by portraying Nigeria in good image and pray for peace, unity and progress of the country in the Holy land.
NAHCON had announced that its inaugural flight of Nigerian pilgrims to 2019 Hajj exercise commenced on Wednesday July 10 with intending pilgrims from Katsina and Lagos states.