Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, on Friday held a meeting with Saudi authorities on the ongoing investigation into the recent stampede in Mina, Mecca.
Sanusi, while addressing pilgrims during a visit to South-South and South-East camps in Mecca, said Nigeria had already requested from Saudi authorities a fair and transparent investigation.
The emir said he had met with Saudi Minister of Hajj Affairs, who had promised a thorough investigation.
He noted that although the Saudi authorities had made adequate arrangement to avoid hitches, the exercise had encountered one of the worse stampedes in the history of Hajj operation.
Sanusi said, “Vehicular movements were restricted in parts of Mecca on Arafat and Jamarat days all in an effort to have hitch-free movement to the stone throwing site. But unfortunately and as God wishes, there was stampede in one of the road leading to the stoning complex.
“All of us have our time. No one can spend more than a second when it comes. The stampede cannot be stopped by anyone as that is an act of God.’’
The emir added that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria had received complaints on accommodation in Mecca and Mina from stakeholders, assuring the people that issues raised would be addressed before the next hajj operation.
The stampede, which occurred on September 24 while the pilgrims were on the way to Jamarat complex (stone throwing site), claimed the lives of more than 747 Muslims, including 64 Nigerians, and 805 others injured.
By Patrick Aigbokhan