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4 Nigerians die at 2022 Hajj

A newly appointed board member, Gombe State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Dr Abdulrahaman Mai-Gona on Thursday died in Saudi- Arabia

The death of Dr Mai-Gona who was also a lecturer in the Department of Islamic Studies, Gombe state University was contained in a statement from the Executive Secretary Gombe State Muslim Pilgrims Board, Alhaji Sa’adu Hassan- Adamu.

“With total submission to the will of Allah, the death of Alhaji Dr Abdulrahaman Mai Gona has occurred today in Saudi after a brief illness”. Alhaji Hassan- Adamu stated.

The statement notes that the deceased died in Makkah after a brief illness while the board has commenced plans to ensure his timely burial as stipulated in Islam.

The death of Dr Mai-Gona has raised the number of Nigerian pilgrims that died since the commencement of the Hajj exercise to 4.

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) had earlier recorded 3 deaths out of the 41,191 pilgrims participating in this year’s Hajj exercise in Saudi-Arabia.

NAHCON’s Head of Medical team, Dr Usman Galadima made the announcement in Makkah while presenting the report of the medical committee during the Post- Arafat Stakeholders’ meeting.

Dr Galadima said the dead included 2 females of 37 and 62 years from Kaduna and Nasarawa states, respectively, while the other one was a 58-year-old male from Borno state.

He revealed that while the pilgrim from Borno state died in Muna, the one from Kaduna died at Arafah, with the third pilgrim from Nasarawa state passing away in Makkah.

The NAHCON official said the deceased have all been buried according to Islamic rites in Saudi-Arabia, while their families have been notified of the incidents.

Dr Galadima, who did not disclose the cause of the deaths, also disclosed that 12,152 patients were attended to at NAHCON’s clinics in six different centres.

Chairman, NAHCON, Alhaji Zikirullah Hassan, who also briefed stakeholders on this year’s Hajj exercise, said the airlifting of pilgrims back to Nigeria would begin on Friday, July 15, and would be on “first-in, first-out” basis.

Alhaji Hassan asked for the cooperation of other stakeholders, and gave assurance that the airlifting of pilgrims back to Nigeria would be completed before the August 13 deadline given by Saudi Arabia.

According to him, over 7,000 pilgrims that have yet to visit Medina will do so before returning to Nigeria.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Sen Adamu Bulkachuwa reported that the Saudi- Arabia authorities had agreed that as from next year, Nigerian cooks will be mobilised before the Hajj exercise to train Saudi cooks on how to prepare local Nigerian dishes.

Reporting by Ridwan Fasisi; Editing by Muzha Kucha and Tony Okerafor