The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, yesterday, confirmed the death of 20 Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia during this year’s Hajj.
Chairman of the commission, Abdullahi Mukhtar, disclosed this at a pre-Arafat meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
He said 14 pilgrims died from cardiac arrest and other ailments, while six lost their lives in the September 11 crane crash incident.
Mukhtar said three Nigerians were injured at the September 11 crane crash, as against the six earlier reported.
He said all the pilgrims that submitted valid documents to the commission for visa were airlifted to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage.
He also said that the security situation in Saudi Arabia was tight and advised pilgrims to be orderly and to stay in Makkah.
Mr. Mukhtar also advised the pilgrims to drink more water due to the harsh weather, adding that they should only expose themselves to the sun when necessary.
He said female pilgrims should move in groups and avoid construction sites within the Grand Mosque and outside.
On Arafat, he said the pilgrims would start moving to Mina at midnight and advised them against climbing the roof of the buses conveying them.
“We have resolved at a meeting with clerics to abide by the time given to us by the Saudi authorities to start moving to Mina,” he said.
He warned clerics against inciting pilgrims against the resolution, adding that anyone found doing so would be sanctioned.