Nigeria to protest seizure of pilgrims’ e-wristband by Saudi Authority


Nigeria is to protest the seizure of electronic wristbands taken to Saudi Arabia for use by its pilgrims.

The Consulate-General, Nigeria Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Yunusa, said this at the post Arafat meeting organised by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Friday in Makkah.

The wristbands were introduced by NAHCON to monitor each pilgrim’s movement and facilitate easy identification where the need arises.

However, thousands of the items were seized at the airport in Madinah by security officials and all entreaties by Nigerian officials for release fell on deaf ears.

Following this, NAHCON suspended the use of the wristbands by the pilgrims rendering the project useless.

Mr. Yunusa said the action of Saudi authorities ran counter to the understanding reached by the two governments before the introduction of the wristbands.

He said the embassy had in February informed the Saudi government of Nigeria’s plan to introduce the wristbands and this was followed up in July.

“This action is unfriendly, undiplomatic and we are going to protest against it,” he said.

The diplomat urged state officials of pilgrims welfare agencies to caution their drivers against reckless driving, saying it was giving Nigeria a bad image.

Earlier, the Charge d’Affairs of Nigeria to Saudi Arabia, Salisu Umar, commended NAHCON for a hitch free pilgrimage.

He appealed to officials to start preparing early for next year’s pilgrimage to make it better. (NAN)

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  • arewethishopeless

    At 25,000 naira per pilgrim and with petitions written to the presidency, the project was useless from the start and a burden to Nigerians at a time money was hard to come by. Surprisingly, the actors in this scam still have their jobs when they should be in jail. PMB, I understand you are busy but you really need to act on this …..

  • Nkem

    God! Where did they get money to buy electronic wriztband for every pilgrim?

    • PolyGon2013

      That won’t cost that much my friend. It is just a monitoring device. Saudis are racists. White people in general have used religion to conquer the world.

      • Jaja Majaja

        hahahaha… the Saudis are racist . Okay na

        • PolyGon2013

          I wish I have a better word to describe this terrorist nation: Saudi Arabia.

      • tsunami1earthquake

        Nigerian Muslims are special breeds. If you doubt, go to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and attempt to use one of the toilets. After use, water would HARDLY flow from the tap over the washbasin but look around at one corner of the toilet and you’d find a special tap over a square enclosure and ablution kettles or buta round it. Open this tap and water would gush as if all the water in Abuja had been channelled to it!

        • PolyGon2013

          Wow! That is surprising. The airport should be privatized, where water will be available to all. Another option is to sabotage the ablution pipe, so that everyone will be affected. This would enable FG to fix all toilets.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Why should Nigeria authorities descend so low as to be protesting seizure of electronic wristband?What would a pilgrimage from Nigeria, in Saudi Arabia, be breaking Saudi Arabia custom and exercise law?Nigerian authorities are not focus despite the fiscal/economic recession,s national problems confronting Nigerians,Nigerian government still got the precious time to be protesting against seizure of ban wristband in Saudi Arabia by a pilgrimage.

    • Reminisce6

      Bro.,the pilgrim board would be lodging the protest.It amazes me when people who should know better how gov`t is run lampooned the gov`t in this manner.Different MDA`s are doing their respective jobs with specific designations.This one will go through the proper channel via the Foreign Ministry,the Villa does not have to be involved in this.Udo Udoma ,Kemi Adeosun and the economic team have their job cut out for them and are immune to this.No matter how minor or ‘irrelevant’ this issue may seems it cannot be ignored especially if there`s a breach of an existing understanding between agencies in both countries.Little or big,minor or major,government as a multi task entity must address issues as relate to the welfare of its citizens and one (major) does not deflate the other (minor).