Saudi Arabia says Hajj rituals start midnight Thursday

Nigerian pilgrims in Arafat
Nigerian pilgrims in Arafat

Saudi Arabia on Thursday said the Hajj rituals would start from the midnight of Thursday in Mecca’s Mina neighbourhood, Saudi Press Agency reported.

All pilgrims will reach Mecca by the end of Thursday, Mansoor Al-Turki, spokesman of the Interior Ministry, said at a news conference.

All pilgrims will move to Mount Arafat on Saturday morning, he added.

According to the spokesman, 350,000 pilgrims will be transported through the ritual train, around 750,000 to 800,000 travel by bus and the rest walk from Mina to Mount Arafat.

The Saudi Authority said 1,838,339 pilgrims were expected to performance this year’s Hajj to compare with 2.37 million that congregated for the exercise in 2018.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Tuesday disclosed that no fewer than 65,000 Nigerian pilgrims were in Saudi Arabia for the 2019 Hajj.

An official of the commission, Aliyu Tanko, told journalists in Makkah that adequate arrangements have been made by NAHCON to ease the difficulties in performing the Hajj, which begins on Saturday.

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He said all Nigerian pilgrims have arrived the Holy land and were engaged in preliminary activities preparatory to the conduct of the proper Hajj.

He commended the excellent arrangements made by the Saudi Arabian authorities to avoid congestion and commotion on Arafat day and during the stoning of the devil in Muna.

The commission official said the Saudi Arabian authorities have dedicated a road solely for Nigerian pilgrims during the stoning of the devil.

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