The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) says it has not recorded any death of any Nigerian pilgrim since the beginning of the 2017 Hajj Operation three weeks ago.
The Coordinator in charge of Medina Operation and Secretary of NAHCON, Dr Bello Tambuwal, made this known while briefing journalists on Saturday in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
According to Tambuwal, the 2017 Hajj Operation is the best outing in the past 10 years of the Hajj Commission, adding that the commission has also not record a single road traffic accident.
He said that since the beginning of transportation of pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on July 30, a significant progress had been achieved by the commission in many areas.
He said the challenge of transporting intending pilgrims from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia was very minimal, adding that pilgrims transported directly through Medina International Airport and those that arrived through Jeddah Airport had smooth movement into the Kingdom.
“So far, we don’t have serious challenges in the on-going Hajj Operation. From my experience of the past 10 years, 2017 Hajj is the smoothest I have witnessed.
“We were able to secure good houses and mostly within Haram area and we have not recorded a single road traffic accident or death of any Nigerian pilgrim,” Tambuwal said.
The Coordinator said that as part of efforts to provide healthcare service to pilgrims, the commission had procured adequate drugs for pilgrims.
He said the commission has established relationship with Saudi hospitals and any emergency that required specialised treatment would be referred to such medical facilities.
The secretary also expressed optimism that all pilgrims would be transported to Saudi Arabia before the deadline for closure of airports.
“We will continue to transport pilgrims directly to Medina because we have secured enough bed space here, then later we will move them to Mecca by road,” he said.
Tambuwal disclosed that NAHCON had engaged the service of a dedicated transport company with new buses that have toilet and internet services, to transport pilgrims from Medina to Mecca.
He said that a total of 43, 963 pilgrims from various states of the federation had so far been transported to the Holy Land.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that about 95,000 pilgrims, who registered through states pilgrims’ welfare boards, agencies and private tour operators, are expected to perform the 2017 hajj.