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Saudi Stampede: Buhari Ordrs Immediate Head Count Of Nigerian Pilgrims

hajj stampedeBy Patrick Aigbokhan
Following  last Thursday’s stampede at Mina , near Meccawhich claimed over 700 lives, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Hajj Commission and the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi  Arabia to immediately conduct a head count of all Nigerian pilgrims.
A statement by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that the presidential order was necessitated by the conflicting reports on the number of Nigerians who died or suffered injuries in the disaster.
He said the President was concerned that days after the incident, some Nigerian families were still grappling with painful uncertainty over the fate of their relatives who traveled to Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj.
The statement read in part, “The President expects the National Hajj Commission to work with the various state pilgrim boards, Islamic organisations and private travel agencies involved in Hajj operations to speedily provide a confirmed and verifiable report on the status of every Nigerian pilgrim in Saudi Arabia.
“President Buhari has also directed the Hajj Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to give all necessary assistance to Nigerians who are still receiving treatment for injuries suffered in Mina.
“He continues to pray that Almighty Allah will receive the souls of the dead, comfort bereaved families, heal the injured and bring all surviving Nigerian pilgrims safely home.”

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