Hajj Stampede: Nigeria wants to be part of Saudi probe

Nigeria’s hajj commission has called on Saudi authorities to ensure countries affected by Thursday’s stampede are part of a government investigation into the incident.

Abdullahi Mukhtar, the Chairman, National Hajj Commision of Nigeria (NAHCON), on Saturday called on the Saudi authority to include Nigeria and affected countries.

No fewer than 747 Muslims lost their lives and 805 others injured at the stampede on the road leading to Jamarat (stone throwing site) in Mina, Saudi Arabia.

Pilgrims from several nations lost their lives at the stampede.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that three Nigerians lost their lives although NAHCON officials said they had yet to verify the development from Saudi Government.

Mr. Mukhtar, who made the call at a news conference in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, said it was not fair for anyone to blame Africans participating at the pilgrimage for the fatal incident.

A senior Saudi official had suggested that pilgrims of “African nationalities” failed to abide by traffic directives, leading to the stampede.

“At this time of electronic age and the close circuit cameras install in Mecca and environment, the authority can easily know how the stampede started and who caused it,’’ Mr. Mukhtar said.

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He, therefore, urged the pilgrims to follow the timetable provided by Saudi authority to prevent similar incident.

(NAN)

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