Hajj 2017: Death toll of Nigerian pilgrims rises to seven

Nigerian pilgrims in Arafat
Nigerian pilgrims in Arafat

The number of Nigerian pilgrims who have died at the current Hajj exercise has risen from five to seven, officials have stated.

The Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Abdullahi Mohammed, disclosed this in an interview with journalists at Mount Arafat, Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Mr. Mohammed had earlier on Tuesday at the pre-Arafat meeting with Hajj stakeholders announced the death of five Nigerian pilgrims.

Though, the identities of the dead pilgrims were not disclosed, the chairman said the pilgrims were from Kwara, Kogi, Katsina and Kaduna states and had died due to natural illness.

“We have lost seven pilgrims due to natural illness. Male and female, particularly from Kwara, Kogi, Katsina, Kaduna. No single accident recorded this year. All pilgrims were evacuated in good time.

“We will have to say that, so far so good. Even the mortality recorded this year is the lowest in the last 10 to 15 years. We pray that will be the end of any mortality that we are going to record, ” he stated.

He expressed optimism that the movement to Mustalifah, back to the pilgrims’ tents and the observation of stoning of the Jamarat will also be well coordinated, peaceful and that the pilgrims will finish their Hajj rites safely.

“Importantly, the commission has introduced an emergency call centre. We have officers who man that call centre 24 hours. So, any pilgrims under any distress situation should call this number 90008251, 920008251,” he said.

He said the commission has a robust, effective and well-coordinated medical team with ambulances stationed in various medical camps to attend to emergency needs of pilgrims.

He said the commission was also coordinating well with the state officials to attend to the needs of the pilgrims.

He expressed satisfaction over the hitch-free movement of pilgrims from Makkah to Muna and to Arafat.

Climbing the Mount Arafat is a fundamental aspect of the Hajj rites.

“Anybody who knows what Hajj used to be in the past, for you to move from Makkah to Muna, minimum you need is about eight hours, because of the traffic and the confusion. For you to move from Muna to Arafat, you need nothing less than four to five hours because of the congestion and the confusion. But now, it takes only 10-15 minutes, maximum of 20 minutes, you arrive at your destination,” Mr. Mohammed said.

“So, actually, the Saudi system is working perfectly. But, just like any other human endeavour, there is always room for improvement. We hope, the authorities, despite the successes recorded they will try to meet up, especially the turnaround time of the vehicles,” he added.

He said the return of pilgrims to Nigeria will commence on September 7, stressing that the commission will maintain the ‘first in first out policy,’ except for those under emergency.


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  • 0tile

    We lost seven Nigerians you are clapping for yourself saying that the Saudi system is working. Are you saying that human life means nothing to you? How many lives did UK, Canada, France, UAE lose? You sound like Buhari who announced that he is pleased with the ruined Nigerian economy. Shame.

    • So oju abe niko

      Young man, you don’t have to comment on everything. There are some things that you know very little about. In such a situation, you should sit back and let those who know make comments so that you can learn.

      That said, the people that transited died from natural causes. As required by the Saudis, pilgrimage officials all over the world try to weed out aged, infirm and those in poor health from performing Hajj, but there are many pilgrims in seemingly good health who have latent or undiagnosed medical issues. The religious rites during the pilgrimage is somewhat taxing and should be done by those in good to excellent health, but every muslim wants to perform Hajj at least once in a life time. There are first aid services everywhere, and excellent medical facilities comparable to anywhere in the west (I should know as a resident of a top western nation for over 30 years), but it is inevitable that there would be a few fatalities from exhaustion and latent medical issues when you have 3 million pilgrims in a crush over the course of two weeks.

  • shola

    Going to die in the holy land? Orun mo’ru!

  • Dan Arewa

    May Allah reward those that die with Aljannatil Firduse. Every muslim wants his or her to die in the holy land.
    I pray the rest safe trip back home.

    • 0tile

      Mallam, which one you dey? Every Muslim wants to die in Saudi Arabia, yet you pray for their safe trip back home. Haba

      • Dan Arewa

        Only a muslim will understand what I mean.
        But if they are to die any day, They prepare to die in Mekka or Madinah. Not any part of Saudi Arabia.

        • 0tile

          If an Israeli jet fighter accidentally crashes in Makkah or Madina killing people will Muslims understand what you mean?

          • Dan Arewa

            You are not a muslim.
            You can`t understand what I mean.

          • 0tile

            You are not a good Muslim.
            You want many pilgrims to die so that you can inherit their government pilgrim allowances.

    • FreeNigeria

      Now I see why they wear suicide vest. Make all of una die dere now make we get peace for this world.

    • So oju abe niko

      Amen to both of your prayers. However, you have chosen your words in the 2nd sentence a little poorly. What you intended to write was: every muslim would like be in the Holy Land when death arrives. Still, I would disagree with that statement because not every muslim wants to be in Mecca/Medina at the time of death. I for one pray to die in my regular bed whenever it is time. Therefore the word “every muslim” should be changed to “many muslims”. Over the years, The Saudis have limited the number of pilgrims wishing to die in Saudi, by requiring medical certificates, which ensure that the very aged, the infirms, and those in poor health do not get visas to perform Hajj. And as you rightly prayed, I join you in also praying that every pilgrim return safely to their home and family.

      • Dan Arewa

        Thank you my Brother.

        • Otile

          Don’t thank him for joining you in wishing Nigerian people to perish in Arabian desert, your wish is not the will of Allah.

    • Maverick

      Even the founder of lsIam is in hellfire. How can the followers be rewarded?

  • 0tile

    If an Israeli jet fighter accidentally crashes in Makkah killing pilgrims during the stoning of the devil ceremony nobody will believe it is a mere accident. Even Buhari himself will like to go to war with Israel over the unfortunate accident.

    • So oju abe niko

      There something that you think that should never be expressed, and this is just an example of that.

  • Chym

    Terrorists

  • Maverick

    They have been sacrificed to their god.