Hajj 2016: Over 10 Nigerian Pilgrims Confirmed Dead
No fewer than three million pilgrims converged on Mount Arafat on Sunday to mark the climax of the Hajj 2016 pilgrimage.
A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent covering the Hajj reports that at least 62,000 Nigerians were part of the gathering.
The event at Mount Arafat featured Pilgrims’ supplication for Allah’s guidance and forgiveness.
Staying at Arafat from sunrise until sunset is the major rite of the pilgrimage.
NAN reports that movement from Muna, where the pilgrims spent the night, started as early as 2am and was completed at about 10am.
Pilgrims were camped in tents fully equipped with cooling system to alleviate the high temperature, which sometimes rose to 40 degrees Centigrade.
Speaking at a news briefing, the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Alhaji AbdullahI Muktar, said the Commission was able to conclude the movement of the pilgrims at about 9am on Sunday.
“The coordination and movement were unprecedented in our history,” Muktar said, commending officials and pilgrims for their cooperation and discipline.
Muktar said all the tents were provided with cooling system and water coolers, while the quality of food served the pilgrims had greatly improved.
He further said that effort would be made to serve Nigerian dishes to pilgrims in subsequent years.
The Chairman also announced that there was no incident of traffic accident involving Nigerian pilgrims.
He, however, said 10 pilgrims had so far been confirmed to have died.
He appealed to pilgrims to continue to be law-abiding in the final phase of the exercise.
Also speaking, the Head of the Medical Team, Dr Ibrahim Kana, said there was no reported case of a serious medical problem during the stay at Arafat.
Meanwhile, special prayers were conducted in Arabic, English, Hausa, Ogoni and Yoruba by leading clerics for the progress of Nigeria and guidance of its leaders at Arafat.
Similar prayers were also offered at various tents.