No fewer than 13 intending female pilgrims have been barred from performing this year’s Hajj to Saudi Arabia due to pregnancy and other medical reasons.
The Leader of the 2014 State Medical Team, Dr Bello Ahmed, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto on Sunday.
Ahmed said that 12 of the affected pilgrims were from Rabah, Wurno, Silame, Wamakko, Kware, Gudu, Binji, Gada, Tambuwal and Sokoto North local government areas.
The leader also said that the 13th barred intending pilgrim paid the Hajj fares under the auspices of the state pilgrims’ welfare agency.
“He is a 75-year-old man suffering from heart failure and he can’t just stand the rigours of the Hajj exercise,” Ahmed explained.
Ahmed further stated that seven out of the 13 affected pilgrims were women with between five to six months pregnancies.
He also said that some of them were all aged between 78 and 80 years.
“Another woman was also barred from travelling to Saudi Arabia due to psychiatric problems.
“The other ailments for their disqualification from performing the Hajj this year include old age, severe hypertension, blindness, heart failure and muscula-skeletal problems,” said Ahmed.
On Ebola, Ahmed said that the committee had intensified the sensitisation of the intending pilgrims on the need to ensure personal and environmental hygiene.
Meanwhile, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai, has appealed to the Federal Government to allow the airlift of intending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj from Borno and Yobe through the Maiduguri International Airport.
Garbai made the appeal while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Maiduguri.
He said that the appeal was based on recent developments that barred intending pilgrims to lesser Hajj (Umrah) from using the airport.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to allow the use of the Maiduguri International Airport for the airlift of pilgrims to this year’s Hajj to Saudi Arabia.
He said diverting pilgrims from Borno to other states would create disharmony in the exercise.
“We have about 5,000 intending pilgrims from both Borno and Yobe waiting to be airlifted from the airport.
“Diverting these pilgrims to other states will no doubt caused enormous hardship on them,’’ Garbai said.
The traditional ruler said that he had contacted the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Saad, on their plight. (NAN)