Hajj stampede: No Cross River pilgrim died – Official

The ‎Cross River State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board says the state did not record any casualty among the pilgrims during the 2015 Hajj.

Bello Audu, the Head of Islamic Affairs in the State Department of Religious Matters and the Coordinator of the 2015 Hajj Operations from Cross River, confirmed this in an interview with journalists in Calabar.

He said the board conducted a headcount of pilgrims following directives by President Muhammad Buhari to ascertain the number of victims in the Hajj stampede in Muna, Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Bello, formerly Acting Secretary, State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, said he was in touch with the 37 pilgrims from the state, adding that they were hale and healthy.

He said that the pilgrims were subjected to medical tests to know their state of health “at this critical situation’’, and assured that all of them would soon return home.

“We give Glory to Almighty Allah that no pilgrim from the state was missing when a head count was done for all the 37 pilgrims from the state in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

“We also give thanks to our State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, who had promised to always listen to Muslims in Cross River State and give them their rightful place in the scheme of things.

“That nothing happened to the pilgrims from Cross River State shows that the governor’s prayers have been answered as a good believer and a man of God.

“We regret the loss of lives at Jamarat and as Muslims, we condoled with the affected persons and their families in Nigeria and other countries of the world.

“Our prayers are that Almighty Allah will grant the dead Aljana Firdaus ‎ as well as grant the victims’ families the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses,” he said.

About 1,000 pilgrims died in Muna, a day after Arafat, during the Hajj rites.

(NAN)


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