Saudi Arabians as well as Nigerian officials have met and resolved that the Adamawa pilgrim reported to have gone insane on arrival at the holy land, be deported back to Nigeria, Executive Secretary Adamawa Pilgrims Welfare Board Alhaji Bashir Aliyu said.
Reports from Mecca and Medina indicates that three Nigerian pilgrims include two old women and a male pilgrim were said to have lost their mental state immediately after arrival in the holy land.
Bashir Aliyu confirmed that there was a decision to deport the insane intending pilgrim (names withheld). “Saudi and our officials have met and decided that the pilgrim should be deported to Nigeria and already he is on his way back to Nigeria”, he said.
He also said the state of female pilgrim who had fracture on her hand is now getting better. “She is getting better now and we are working assiduously to assist the pilgrims”, he said.
Aliyu also said the board has introduced free meals for all state pilgrims in Mecca and cautioned pilgrims against reckless spendings in order not to waste their basic travelling allowances. “Pilgrims have to be careful in handling and managing their money as no kobo in the name of contingency has been made available for officials and government delegation to this year’s hajj to carter for any pilgrim in financial problem,” he said.
He therefore urged them to be disciplined and law abiding in their conduct during and after the hajj exercise. “We must be disciplined and organized in our conduct if we must earn respect of authorities in the holy land,” he said. He noted with concern that some unscrupulous and illegal settlers known as Takaris are exploiting unsuspecting Nigerian pilgrims.
In the meantime, over 72,816 Nigerian intending pilgrims have so far been airlifted to Saudi Arabia for this year’s hajj. This is out of the 95,000 seats allocated to Nigeria.
Coordinator of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in charge of Madina Dr Bello Tambuwal said that what remains now is over 12,000 from 85,000 normal pilgrims and 10,000 for tour operators. The airlift is expected to wind up on or before October 20 when King Abdul’aziz International Airport, Jeddah is expected to be closed.
Source: Daily Trust