Hajj Stampede: Emir Sanusi Meets Saudi Authorities On Transparent Probe

imageThe Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, on Friday said he held a meeting with Saudi Authorities on the ongoing investigation into the recent stampede in Mina, Mecca.

More than 747 Muslims, including 64 Nigerians, lost their lives and 805 others injured at a stampede on the way to Jamarat complex (stone throwing site) on Sept.24.

Addressing pilgrims during a visit to South-South and South-East camps in Mecca, Sanusi 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 were he had promised a thorough investigation.

He said 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.

“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,’’ he stressed.

The emir also said that NAHCON had received complaints on accommodation in Mecca and Mina from stakeholders, assuring that issues raised would be addressed before the next hajj operation.

“We have forwarded such complaints to the appropriate quarters and we are confident they will be addressed,’’ he said.

Earlier, the Secretary, Delta Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Abdulaziz Amori, said the two zones were not fully represented at the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

He also said that pilgrims from the zones were not fully educated on Hajj activities due to insufficient preachers.

He, therefore, urged NAHCON to deploy more preachers to the zones next year to educate the pilgrims on hajj activities.

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