Nigerian Pilgrims Stranded in Saudi Arabia Without Accommodation

Nigerian pilgrims from Katsina State have expressed their distress and frustration after being left without proper accommodation in Mina, Saudi Arabia. 

PLATFORM TIMES reports that despite paying over N8 million each for the Hajj pilgrimage, these pilgrims found themselves sleeping on the floor under canopies, a situation they described as dire and unacceptable.

In a video obtained by SaharaReporters, the pilgrims, clad in their religious attire, were seen huddled together on the bare ground, highlighting the neglect they have suffered at the hands of the state authorities responsible for their welfare.

Usman Bello Daura, one of the affected pilgrims, voiced his grievances about the substandard welfare arrangements. 

“Here are my colleagues, and this is our condition. This is where we are sleeping. We are facing a very critical situation regarding accommodation. 

“I am particularly concerned about tomorrow, the day of Arafat, which is the most significant day of Hajj,” Daura said. He expressed his fear that the lack of proper accommodation would hinder their ability to perform the necessary rites effectively.

Daura continued, “We don’t want this kind of thing to happen tomorrow because our leaders didn’t do justice to us in terms of our welfare and accommodations. We have found ourselves in a situation that all of us are not happy about, and we hope we get out of this situation before tomorrow (Arafat day).”

Another pilgrim highlighted the stark contrast in treatment between pilgrims from Katsina State and those from Borno State.

 He mentioned that Borno pilgrims were well taken care of by their authorities, while those from Katsina were neglected. 

“I have seen the difference between pilgrims from Maiduguri and Katsina state because Maiduguri is where my father comes through, and his accommodation and other needs are intact. 

“But here, the pilgrims from Katsina are abandoned,” he said. He also noted the difficulty in finding Katsina state representatives in Saudi Arabia to address their complaints.

“Today, they brought us to Mina, and the authorities from Katsina state have been going up and down with us without providing us with proper places of accommodation.

“ Please, and I am pleading, whosoever is responsible for our welfare in this holy land should please come out to hear us out,” he added.

“The pilgrims have called for immediate intervention from the state government. One of them made a direct appeal to the governor, urging him to ensure better management and oversight in the future. 

“I want to draw the attention of Mr. Governor to this critical issue we are facing here. I want to advise him to be careful in the kind of people he entrusts with the responsibility of pilgrimage going forward. We are not happy here; we don’t have accommodation, and we are left abandoned,” he stated.

This development comes amidst reports of fatalities among Nigerian pilgrims. SaharaReporters recently reported the deaths of two more pilgrims from Kwara State during the ongoing Hajj. 

The Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board announced that Salman Muhammad Alade and Ayishat Shuaib Ologele died after brief illnesses. Abdulsalam Abdulkadir, Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Pilgrims Welfare Board, extended condolences to the families of the deceased and prayed for Allah’s comfort and pardon.

Previously, Abdulkadir had disclosed the tragic death of Hajia Hawawu Muhammad, who reportedly committed suicide by jumping from the rooftop of her apartment in Madina. 

Another pilgrim, Saliu Mohammed, died in an intensive care unit of a public hospital after a sudden illness.

As the situation unfolds, the stranded pilgrims in Mina continue to seek urgent help, hoping their plight will be addressed before the critical day of Arafat.


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