Five Nigerian pilgrims to this year’s hajj in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, have died.
The Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Abdullahi Mohammed, announced the passage of four of the pilgrims yesterday in Makkah, Islam’s holiest city.
Mohammed, who spoke at the 2017 pre-Arafat meeting with Hajj stakeholders, however, declined to disclosed the identities of the late pilgrims as well as the circumstances that led to their death.
According to journalists reports, he said such information could only be disclosed after their families had been appropriately informed.
The NAHCON chair pleaded with the media to withhold the details so as not to further devastate the families of the affected pilgrims.
Shortly after the chairman spoke, an official on the medical team of NAHCON announced the passage of another pilgrim from Kwara.
A total 81,200 Nigerian pilgrims are performing this year’s hajj, all of whom have converged on Makkah after some of them visited and prayed at the Prophet Mohammed’s mosque in Madinah.
A few other pilgrims came directly to Makkah after flying into Saudi Arabia through the nearby city of Jeddah.
All the pilgrims have performed the rites of Umrah, the lesser hajj, at al-Masjid al-Haram in which is situated the Kabah.
On Wednesday, the pilgrims, like their counterparts from other parts of the world, will move to the city of Mina to spend the eve of the 9th of Dhul-Hijah.
The pilgrims will then proceed to Arafat on Thursday praising Allah and reciting the Qur’an.
Meanwhile, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has travelled to Saudi Arabia for hajj and pray for development of Nigeria.
While in the holy land, Saraki would also offer prayers for the better health of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, the Senate President flew out of the country yesterday to join over two million Muslim faithful who are already in Saudi Arabia for this year’s rites.
He would also spend the period of the holy pilgrimage to pray for more success for the eighth National Assembly in the execution of its legislative agenda which is aimed at helping to improve the standard of living of the citizenry and positively transform the national economy.
The Senate President is expected back early September when the hajj rites would have been completed by pilgrims.