• Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

2023 Hajj: Reps Investigate Untold Hardship Experienced By Nigerian Pilgrims

House of Representatives is to Investigate the Untold Hardship experienced by the Nigerian Pilgrims during the just Concluded 2023 Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia.

The resolution followed a motion by a member from Plateau State Alhaji Ahmad Idris Wase, adopted by the House during the plenary session.

Alhaji Idris Wase said Nigerian Pilgrims were subjected to untold hardships during the exercise due to the inability of some airlines to lift pilgrims on time, inadequate tent accommodation at Mina and Arafat, unhealthy living conditions, and improper medical attention and transportation logistics.

The lawmaker maintained that this year’s Hajj recorded the largest turnouts in the history of Hajj with Al-Jazeera and other International media putting the figure to about 2.5 million pilgrims including the over 95000 Nigerian Pilgrims at the 2023 Hajj exercise.

The mover of the motion was worried that many Nigerians were forced to miss their plights due to stringent bottlenecks regarding withholding of their International Passports, inability to secure airport slots for Nigerian airline operators to lift Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia back to Nigeria
and many more.

He described as unfortunate that the agency mandated to cater for Pilgrim Affairs (NAHCON) has not been proactive in ameliorating the plight of Nigerians during the Hajj exercise as pilgrims did not get commensurate value for the high amount they paid for and clamouring for a full refund for tent and feeding.

The former Deputy Speaker emphasized that over 25,000 Nigerian pilgrims including those who paid about $5,000 (18,000 riyals) for a Tent at VIP Class were left stranded at Mina due to oversubscription leaving many pilgrims sleeping on the roads, under bridges, and nearby mosques.

He further confirmed cases of several public officials such as present and past Governors, Senators, and Members of the National Assembly who had no tent and were made to sleep in unhealthy conditions and environment.

While adopting the motion the House has mandated its Committee on Legislative Compliance when constituted to conduct a detailed investigation into the anomalies and report back to the House within four (4) weeks.