From Suleiman Idris in Mina, Saudi Arabia
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday extended his condolence to states Pilgrims’ Welfare Board officials in Mina who lost their pilgrims during the hajj exercise in the holy land.
This is even as the President sent his Sallah greetings to Nigerians residing in Saudi Arabia particularly the over 65,000 pilgrims currently in camp in Mina.
The number of Nigerian pilgrims, who have died while performing the 2019 Hajj in Saudi Arabia has risen to nine, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria disclosed yesterday.
The Commission’s boss disclosed this in Muna while briefing journalists on activities of the medical team of NAHCON for the pilgrims.
The latest pilgrim to die was from Lagos State and was identified as Alhaja Folashade Lawal.
She was said to have slumped at 3:00 a.m. while heading to Jamrat to throw stones at the devil.
Throwing stone at the three devils is one of the Islamic rites towards acceptable hajj.
The chairman of the team said that the commission opened 21 field offices in Muna with adequate drugs and ambulances.
He identified cough and hypertension as some of the health challenges presented by patients.
Meanwhile, President Buhari urged Nigerians in the country to be of good conduct and shun acts that could tarnish the country’s image and reminded them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria especially at this period when they are seeking the face of the almighty Allah in their personal and family wellbeing.
President Buhari’s message was delivered by the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Mr. Abdullahi Mukhtar Esq. when he visited the different states pilgrims’ tents in Mina as part of the interactive mechanism put in place by NAHCON to gauge the opinions of pilgrims’ satisfaction of services and conduct of the commission’s activities.
The NAHCON chairman also assured pilgrims of improvement in areas where they expressed worry including the condition of tents, direction to Jamarat, quality of food among others.
However, at an interactive forum with pilgrims of private tour operators, NAHCON Commissioner of Operations, Alhaji Abdullahi Saleh said the commission will continue to collaborate with operators to improve and simplify the hajj experience for Nigerian pilgrims in conjunction with the Saudi authorities.
NAHCON had divided the states into three groups while a visitation team made up of team A, B, and C went round all the Nigerian tents in Mina for an on the spot assessment of the condition of pilgrims in the camp.
He urged pilgrims to pray for the peace, wellbeing and progress of the country.