NAHCON Vows to Avoid Participation of Pregnant, Old Pilgrims, Records 20 Death

NAHCON Vows to Avoid Participation of Pregnant, Old Pilgrims, Records 20 Death

Hammed Shittu in Makkah

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has announced that it would tighten its screening system to forestall the participation of unauthorised pilgrims. 

The NAHCOM said that the development became imperative in view of the reported cases of influx of pregnant women and aged pilgrims to the just concluded hajji operations in Saudi Arabia were about 20 pilgrims lost their lives. 

Besides, out of the seven pregnant women that were discovered, one was delivered of a baby via caesarian session when the foetus was seven month old (the baby is now dead) and another pregnant woman had a miscarriage due to the stress of the Hajj exercise.

The NAHCON’s Commissioner-in-charge of Research, Statistics, Information and Library Services (PRSILS), Sheikh Suleman Momoh, made these disclosures in Makkah while speaking with journalists. 

Momoh, however, blamed state boards and private tour operators for the participation of Nigerian pregnant women during the hajji operations.

He also vowed that appropriate sanction would be meted out on those found guilty of disregarding the commission’s laid down rules and regulations.

According to him, NAHCON’s thorough pregnancy tests resulted in dropping two NAHCON’s staff that tested positive.

Momoh said: “We dropped two of our NAHCON’s staff that tested positive. All efforts by the two staff to participate in this year’s Hajj were to no avail.

“We are going to act on pregnant women that attended this year’s Hajj and sanction those who ran fake pregnant test for them. The situation actually caused us a lot of embarrassments.”

 He also revealed that Nigeria lost 20 pilgrims during this year’s Hajj exercise, saying that some pilgrims were very old and feeble for the rigours of the Hajj operations.

Also in his address, the Commissioner-in-charge of Operations, Licensing and Tour Operators, Mr. Abdullahi Magaji Hardawa, disclosed that the commission had so far airlifted over 9,000 pilgrims with a record of 28 flights for the homeward journey of pilgrim, insisting that the airlift would be done on “last in, last out” basis.

Hardawa also disclosed that the Saudi authorities had apologised to Nigeria over the poor services that were provided to Nigerian pilgrims, saying that the commission had equally inaugurated an eight-man committee to look into the matter. 

He disclosed that the committee would submit its blueprint to the commission in the next three months for onward submission to the government.

He said that the commission, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, is working round the clock to ensure that the return journey of pilgrims is very seamless.

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