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.

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.

Hajj: Gombe Declares Five Pilgrims Missing

PilgrimsFive pilgrims from Gombe State have been declared missing in Saudi Arabia.

The Executive Secretary, Gombe State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr. Usman Gurama Arabia, said that the pilgrims have not been found 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.

He, however, said that for now, it had not been 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.

Hajj Stampede Beyond Control – Saudi Mufti

saudi stampedeAuthorities in Saudi Arabia have announced that the stampede that killed hundreds of pilgrims in Mecca during the week was beyond human control.

Saudi Arabia’s most senior cleric, the Grand Mufti, told the Interior Minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, that he was not to blame for the tragedy.

The Interior Minister’s comments came after Iran and several other countries heavily criticised Saudi authorities for the way safety issues were handled.

King Salman has ordered a safety review into the deadliest incident to occur during the pilgrimage in 25 years.

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.”

UN General Assembly Opens In New York

unThe United Nations (UN) General Assembly has opened in New York, United States (U.S.).

President Muhammadu Buhari, who arrived New York on Friday, has reacted to the Saudi Arabia stampede, describing it as a calamity, also commiserating with the families of Nigerians who died, alongside over 700 pilgrims.

President Buhari believes that the stampede at Mina which claimed the life of a Nigerian journalist, Bilkisu Yusuf, and one Professor Tijjani Miskin is very tragic.

The President ends his statement, taking note of assurances from the government of Saudi Arabia that such catastrophe will not happen again, and that this particular incident will be thoroughly investigated.

Top on the agenda as President Buhari holds talks with world leaders will be domestic developmental issues, bilateral relations, the war against terrorism, countering violent extremism, the enhancement of global security, peace-keeping operations, climate change and the adoption of a post 2015 global development agenda.

President Buhari is also scheduled to address the World Leaders Summit on Violent Extremism to which he was personally invited by Mr. Ban Ki Moon during the Secretary-General’s recent visit to Nigeria.

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.

Dogara Condoles With Muslims Over Death Of Pilgrims In Mecca

MeccaThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has condoled with Muslims over the death of scores of people in a stampede in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

In a condolence message to the Muslim community issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan, on Thursday, the Speaker described the stampede as unfortunate.

“I am deeply touched by the tragic incident in Mecca during the symbolic stoning of Satan by pilgrims, which is the second such incidence in this year’s Hajj.

“My special condolence goes to families of Nigerian pilgrims who lost their lives in the stampede and the Nigerian Muslim faithful at large.

“I call on Saudi authorities to conduct thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate death of hundreds of pilgrims including Nigerians and take necessary measures to avert future occurrence.

“I also pray God to grant the families of the victims the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and quick recovery to the injured,” he said.

Scores of pilgrims were killed on Thursday in a crush at Mina, outside the Muslim Holy City of Mecca, where two million people are performing the annual Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities said.

Several others were also injured in the stampede, which 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.

Pilgrim Coordinator Asks For Release Of Arrested Officials

ka'aba- pilgrim coordinator asks for release of officialsThe Coordinator of the National Hajj Commission, Mr Sulaiman Usman, has asked the Saudi Authorities to release Nigerian Pilgrim Officials detained in Saudi Arabia.

Mr Usman said the officials, including a Nigerian medical personnel, were among those arrested from Jidda by Saudi security.

The officials were alleged to have travelled from Jidda to Meccah without official permit.

“We are trying to secure the release of our pilgrim officials who were arrested, put in their ambulance and taken to prison while on their way back from Jidda,” Mr Usman said.

He added that rescue officials during the grand mosque crane tragedy, identified those involved in the tragic incident from their uniforms as most of them were not carrying identification cards.

Three Nigerians Injured In Saudi Crane Collapse

saudi arabia collapse craneChairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Abdullahi Mohammed, on Saturday said three Nigerians were injured in the Saudi crane collapse incident that occurred on Friday.

“So far, we have identified three people that sustained injuries and they are receiving adequate medical care by the Federal Medical Team in the kingdom” he told Channels Television.

According to him, members of the Federal Medical Team‎ and the help desk of the National Hajj Commission are going round all the hospitals and mortuary where the bodies of the dead have being deposited, to ascertain if there is any Nigerian.

He noted that about 53,800 Nigerians have been airlifted into the Kingdom for the 2015 Hajj so far‎ with about 12,000 remaining, adding that “it is our hope and desire that we will finish the operation on or before 17th of this month, which is the official date for the closure of Jeddah airport”.

When asked if there was any death recorded besides the Friday incident, the Commission Chairman said that “there were reported cases of mortality,” but it has nothing to do with the incident.

“Some were diagnosed to have cardiac arrest, and some were hypertensive and some diabetic…so far we have six mortality,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has directed the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to take necessary actions to ensure the security and well-being of all Nigerian pilgrims in the Holy Land.

 

hat no Nigerian pilgrim is affected or has been identified among those that lost their lives in the Saudi Arabia crane collapse. He maintained that investigation is still on.

Saudi Arabia Blames Winds For Crane Collapse, Opens Investigation

saudi arabia collapse craneSaudi Arabia said on Saturday that stormy winds knocked over the crane which collapsed onto one of Islam’s holiest shrines in Mecca and killed 107 people on Friday.

“Heavy rain and strong winds of unusually high speed led to the uprooting of trees, the fall of panels and the collapse of the crane,” General Suleiman Al-Amr, Director General of the Civil Defence Authority, told Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV on Saturday.

The number of deaths may increase, Al-Amr said. Many of the 238 people injured in the accident were only lightly wounded, he said.

Mecca’s governor, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, has ordered an investigation into the incident, Al Arabiya said.

Much of the city centre is undergoing construction work and many high cranes crowd the skyline. The Grand Mosque itself is undergoing an expansion and renovation.

The disaster was the latest in a series of deadly mishaps to hit the Haj, one of the world’s largest religious gatherings, after hundreds of pilgrims died in a stampede in 2006.

Authorities have broadened access paths and imposed limits on the millions of Muslims who converge on Mecca to perform the annual rite in an attempt to reduce accidents.

An unnamed Saudi official involved in organizing the haj was quoted by Al Arabiya as saying the pilgrimage would go ahead as planned.

“The incident won’t affect the haj pilgrimage this year and repairs to the damaged section (of the mosque) will begin within days,” the official said