Saudi Arabia Deports 159 Nigerian Hajj Pilgrims

Inspite of the outrage against the detention of Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, 159 of them were deported yesterday.
This development came as the Nigerian National Assembly asked President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the  matter while Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo requested the Saudi authorities to expedite action and resolve the issue.

The Saudi Arabia authorities allegedly deported the 159 Nigerians who had embarked on the 2012 hajj exercise to Mecca for irregular papers.

Those deported by  the  authorities  were females whose travel documents were arranged by travel agents.

A source close to National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) said last night that  those  who were deported  were intending pilgrims who had gone to Mecca  with the title of ‘miss’, which was against one of the conditions for fulfilling the annual hajj to Mecca.

It was further learnt that among those affected were 13 from Oyo State while the remaining pilgrims were from the Northern states of the country.

The deportees were brought back to the country through Med-View and Max Air, which had earlier taken them to the country for the exercise.

However, other 341 pilgrims were still being  held in the holy land by the Saudi authorities, awaiting deportation.

When reporters contacted the Director, Public Affairs, NAHCON, Alhaji Uba Manna, he confirmed the return of the Nigerians, but insisted that they were not deported.

Rather, he explained that it was the NAHCON authorities that decided to return the pilgrims due to unfavourable condition at one of the landing points for Nigeria.  Nigeria usually lands in Medina and Jebba for hajj exercise.

He explained that the returnees, all females, were brought back because they had no guardians, which he confirmed was against the annual exercise, saying that for women to observe the operation, they must have guardians who are either their blood relations or husbands.

He insisted that if they were deported, their passports would have been stamped and would not be able to return to Saudi Arabia in the next five years, adding that in order to avoid that, NAHCON decided to bring them back to Nigeria.

He could not, however, ascertain if the returnee pilgrims would still be able to observe the exercise before it ends this year.

Sambo spoke when he invited the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria Khaled O.Y. Abdrabuh to his office specifically to register Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment meted out to her pilgrims.
Saudi Arabia 1607540241044837535

Post a Comment Default Comments Disqus Comments


Home item

Popular Posts

Get Updates in your Inbox

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner