Hajj Stampede: Ondo Govt. Calls For Intensified Action On Missing Victims

hajj stampede-ondoThe Ondo State Government has called on the Nigeria Pilgrims Commission to take appropriate steps toward finding the missing victims of the Hajj pilgrimage stampede which happened in Mina, Saudi Arabia on September 24, 2015.

The State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Yemi Mahmud-Fasominu, made the demand on Monday while briefing reporters in Akure, the State Capital.

According to her, four pilgrims from Ondo State have been found dead as a result of suffocation of the stampede. She equally lamented that six of the pilgrims were still missing, over one month after the unfortunate incident.

Mrs Fasominu said that special prayers would be said on Friday for the victims of the disaster and their relatives in all Mosques in Ondo State.

The Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, also gave assurance that the relatives of the victims of the stampede would be adequately compensated, as it was an international disaster.

Over 2,000 pilgrims from 42 countries all over the world, including Nigeria, lost their lives in the stampede.‎ A total of about 222 Nigerians have been confirmed dead while 150 are still missing.

The stampede took place on Street 204 of the camp city at Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, where pilgrims stay for several days during the climax of the Hajj.

Recently, President Buhari ordered the National Hajj Commission and the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to urgently account for all Nigerian pilgrims in the aftermath of the disaster.

Some of the states that lost pilgrims to the stampede are Bauchi, Borno, Zamfara, Cross River, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Sokoto and Taraba.

Hajj Stampede: 99 Nigerians Died, 215 Missing In Mecca – NAHCON

HajjThe National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON has confirmed that 99 Nigerian pilgrims died, 42 were injured and 214 others are missing in the September 24 Hajj stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia.

The agency’s Commissioner, Planning, Research, Statistic Information and Library Service, Dr. Saleh Okenwa, said that the total number of Nigerians affected in the incident is presently 355.

Dr. Okenwa insisted that those missing cannot be declared dead, since identification of those affected were still being collated by the Saudi Arabia health authorities in conjunction with Nigerian and other nations’ health officials.

He went on to give the breakdown of the victims as 73 deaths from the state pilgrims welfare boards, agencies and commissions, while the remaining 26 are from the tour operators.

Hajj Stampede: Iran Death Toll Rises To 464

hajj pilgrims_1Iranian officials have said that the number of its citizens who died in the Hajj stampede in Saudi Arabia last week has reached 464 – nearly double the previous toll.

Authorities also said that there is no longer hope of finding any of the country’s missing pilgrims alive.

According to Saudi officials, 769 people died in the crush in Mina, near Mecca, and 934 were injured.

The Saudis have been criticised over their handling of security and for the slow publication of casualty figures.

Iranian officials alleged that the overall number of deaths is now more than 1,000.

Pakistan, India, and Indonesia have also suggested death toll may be higher than the 769 reported by Saudi Arabia.

The crush occurred as two large groups of pilgrims converged at right angles on the way to taking part in one of the Hajj’s major rites at the Jamarat Pillars.

Judge Returns Saraki’s Trial File, Wants Case Reassigned

high court judge on saraki's caseA Federal High Court Judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, has sent the case file of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki to the Chief Judge for reassignment in Abuja .

Justice Mohammed on Wednesday, said that the action was as a result of “negative reports” from online media that he granted an order restraining the Code of Conduct Tribunal from hearing the matter and that he has been compromised by the plaintiff, Senator Saraki, allegations he said are bound to put any judgement on the matter to question.

The Federal High Court in its rulings last week, held that the respondents, Code of Conduct Bureau be put on notice of the ex-parte applications brought by the Senate President seeking to stop his arrest by the police and stay proceedings before the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false assets declaration.

‎It will also be recalled that the hearing of the appeal filed by the Senate President over alleged false assets declaration at the Court of Appeal was stalled on Tuesday.

The proceedings were stalled following the death of the Presiding Judge of Abuja division, Justice Abdulkadir Jega and Justice Musa Hassan Alkali of the Ilorin division both of the Court of Appeal who were victims of the stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Saraki is facing a 13-count charge of alleged corruption and false declaration of assets before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

He denies any wrongdoing and says the case was instigated by those angry he became the Senate president.

Hajj Stampede: NAHCON Confirms Death Of 54 Nigerians

hajj-nahconThe National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has confirmed the death of 54 Nigerians in the deadly stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, during this year’s Hajj.

The Chairman of NAHCON, Mr. Abdullahi Mohammed, said that 42 out of the 54 that died were from states pilgrims welfare board including two NAHCON officials, while others were among those on the pilgrimage by private tour operators.

He made the confirmation in Makkah on Monday.

He also listed 15 states of Bauchi, Borno, Zamfara, Cross River, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Sokoto, Taraba and Yobe, as those that lost pilgrims to the stampede.

The incident is said to have claimed at least 720 lives.

Iran Calls For Probe Over Hajj Stampede

iran on hajj pilgrimsIran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, has called for an investigation into Thursday’s stampede at the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

The incident was the deadliest to hit the Hajj in 25 years, with 769 people dead, more than 130 of them from Iran.

Mr Rouhani described the crush as “heart-rending”. As well as the fatalities, 934 people were injured.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, however, accused the Iranians of playing politics with a tragedy.

Mr Jubeir, who is also in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, said he believes Iranians should know better than to play politics with a tragedy that had befallen people who were performing their most sacred religious duty.

Saudi Arabia’s most senior cleric had defended the authorities, saying the stampede was “beyond human control”. King Salman had also ordered a safety review into the disaster.

The crush occurred on Thursday morning as two million pilgrims were taking part in the Hajj’s last major rite.

The pilgrims threw seven stones at pillars called Jamarat, which stood at the place where Satan is believed to have tempted the Prophet Abraham.

With temperatures around 46C, two massive lines of pilgrims converged on each other at right angles at an intersection close to the five-storey Jamarat Bridge in Mina, a large valley about 5km (3 miles) from Mecca.

It was the second disaster to strike in two weeks, after a crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 109 people.

Sultan Seeks Investigation Of Saudi Stampede

sultan of sokoto on saudi stampedeThe President General of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has called on the Saudi Arabian Government to investigate the cause of the stampede in which 768 pilgrims died in Mina, Saudi Arabia, during the stoning of the devil.

In a statement issued on his behalf by Secretary-General of the JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar-Aliyu, in Kaduna, the Sultan descibed the stampede as ‘one tragedy too many’.

Alhaji Abubakar condoled with the families of the victims of the tragedy, also calling on Muslims never to be deterred by the tragedy, but remain steadfast, despite the challenges confronting them.

While commending the Saudi authorities for the steps they have taken so far to make the Hajj operation a success, the statement maintains that an investigation into the stampede has become necessary to guard against a recurrence.

The incident occurred on Thursday, September 24 on Street 204 of the camp city at Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, where pilgrims stay for several days during the climax of the Hajj.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have described the stampede as one that was beyond human control.

S/Arabia Stampede: CJN Confirms Death Of Two Justices

S/Arabia Stampede: CJN Confirms Death Of Two JusticesThe Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has confirmed the death of two Court of Appeal justices among those who died during the deadly stampede at Mina, Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

A statement issued by the CJN gave the names of the deceased as Justice Abdulkadir Jega, who is the brother of the past INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega; and Justice Musa Hassan Alkali of the Ilorin Division.

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, Gombe State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr Usman Arabia, says that some pilgrims have not been located since Thursday.

He added that members of the medical team had been checking hospitals and mortuaries with a view to locating them or their remains.

However, Mr Arabia noted that for now, it is yet to be confirmed whether they were among those who died as a result of Thursday’s incident at the stone throwing venue, where over 700 pilgrims died.

Saraki Laments Death Of Hajj Victims

HajjSenate President Dr. Bukola Saraki is saddened over the death of about 717 pilgrims who died, following a stampede at Jamrat in Mina, Saudi Arabia.

Doctor Saraki is asking the Saudi authorities to review the safety rules governing activities around places where the Hajj rites usually take place.

The Senate President says he is pained that such a tragic incident could still occur, despite the safety instructions the Saudi Arabia authorities issued to pilgrims.

In a statement from his media office, the Senate President said, “We are pained. The death of pilgrims who came to worship from different parts of the world is too much for us to bear.

“My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident, and I pray almighty allah to grant aljannah fidaus to souls of all those who lost their lives.

“I also pray for quick recovery for those that sustained injuries during the stampede. May Allah give the families of the victims the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” Saraki stated.

The Senate President also charged the Saudi authorities to organize a comprehensive review and update of the safety rules and security arrangement around the holy places where many pilgrims will always visit at the same time.

He said this was necessary to avoid unnatural disasters like the two that had happened in the last one month.

He also called on the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria to be more proactive in training and orientation of intending pilgrims as, “safety instructions and guide to pilgrims during hajj, particularly in specific areas, will help forestall future occurrence of such human surge and any other form of crises.”

Senator Saraki called on the Saudi authorities to intensify measures to guarantee the overall safety and welfare of pilgrims in future exercises.

“Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and compulsory for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it to undertake. Tragic incidents like this may create fear and panic in the minds of prospective pilgrims.”

Hajj Stampede: King Salman Orders Hajj Safety Review

hajj pilgrimsSaudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered a safety review for the Hajj pilgrimage following the death of 717 people in a stampede near the holy city of Mecca.

Another 863 people were injured in the incident at Mina, which occurred as two million pilgrims were taking part in the Hajj’s last major rite.

It is the deadliest incident to occur during the pilgrimage in 25 years.

The king said there is a need “to improve the level of organisation and management of movement of the pilgrims”.

The crush occurred after two massive lines of pilgrims converged on each other from different directions at an intersection close to the five-storey Jamarat Bridge in Mina.

As part of the Hajj, pilgrims travel to Mina, a large valley about 5km (3 miles) from Mecca, to throw seven stones at pillars called Jamarat, which represents the devil.

The pillars stand where Satan is believed to have tempted the Prophet Abraham.

The crush is the second disaster to strike in two weeks, after a crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 109 people.