(Published DEC 7)
Thirty Nigerian pilgrims have so far lost their lives in Saudi Arabia during the 2009 Hajj, spokesman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Uba Mana, has said.
Mana, who is the head of media and publicity of the commission, told our reporter in an interview in Mecca on Monday that Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Kano, Zamfara, Plateau, Nasawa, Bauchi, Lagos, Yobe, and Borno each lost pilgrims during the Hajj.
Giving a breakdown, Mana said that Kebbi State lost five pilgrims, Niger and Sokoto lost four each, Kano and Plateau states lost three pilgrims each, Nasarawa, Bauchi and Zamfara states lost two each, while Lagos, Yobe and Borno states lost one pilgrim each.
He explained that the three pilgrims that died from Kano State came through international route and not through the state’s pilgrims welfare board.
Mana said that of the 30 that lost their lives, three were knocked down by moving vehicles, two as a result of kidney failure, while the rest died of hypertension and heart related ailments.
On the transportation of pilgrims back home from Saudi Arabia, the NAHCON spokesman said that 15,000 pilgrims have so far returned home and reiterated that all Nigerian pilgrims would be back at home by December 26.