Report confirms 280 Nigerians died, 43 missing in last hajj



As the world awaits the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to announce the findings of its inquest into the total number of victims that died in the stampede that occurred three months ago, the Nigeria Hajj Commission’s report yesterday confirmed that of the 73,000 Nigerians that participated in the two pilgrimages to Mecca, a total number of 323 souls were lost, 43 of which are yet to be accounted for.

The report submitted yesterday to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal by the Board of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NHCN) vindicates concern the world over that the tragedy was the worse ever, as only 36 out of the 180 countries that their pilgrims participated in the Hajj have volunteered figures.

While expressing gratitude to the Board and the entire commission for their exemplary performance during the spiritual exercise, especially during the tragedies, the SGF said he is “particularly impressed with the conduct of the Chairman in providing the government and indeed, the general public, adequate and incontrovertible information throughout the crisis.”

Director Press and Public Affairs in the SGF’s office, Bolaji Adebiyi, said the SGF assured the chairman that the report submitted would be given the desired attention by the Federal Government.

Chairman of the Commission Abdullahi Mohammed, while delivering his report said “that the 2015 hajj was the most eventful in the history of hajj operations in Nigeria with pilgrims witnessing two tragic events, the crane incident at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on September 11, 2015 and the stampede recorded in Mina on September 24, 2015.

“Nigeria,” Mohammed said “recorded a total of 280 deaths from both events, while 43 are considered missing as their status is yet to be ascertained.”

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