After the non religious treatment of Nigerian women pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, the recent death of Nine of those who were not repatriated puts more questions on the importance of such journey in an unhealthy and poor diplomatic situation. What if the pilgrimage is stopped, if not forever, at least for a while? How do we explain the circumstances surrounding the death of 9 pilgrims? Just judge for yourself.
Makkah — Head of the National Hajj Commission in Medina, Dr Bello Tambuwal, yesterday said that the number of Nigerian pilgrims who have died in the holy land has increased to nine. Tambuwal, in a telephone chat with our correspondent said the pilgrims were from Kebbi, Kano, Katsina and Bauchi states. He said apart from the Bauchi pilgrim who died after falling from a high rise building, the others died from illnesses. He added that to ensure that medical services are available to the pilgrims, the Nigerian mission is operating two clinics in Medina, and that they render 24 hour service. He said the commission is working with the medical teams of state pilgrims' boards to ensure that priority attention is given to the health needs of pilgrims. In another development, the director of traffic in the holy city, Brig. Mishaal Al-Maghrabi, announced earlier that old minibuses will be prevented from transporting pilgrims due to the vehicles' unreliability. He then set up a tripartite committee to monitor the minibuses and prevent them from roaming the streets of Makkah. our correspondent observed that a number of minibus drivers have refused to withdraw their vehicles from the streets despite the announcement. To protest the decision, the drivers blocked the Hajj street for more than three hours, and it took security agents to bring the situation under control.