Several prominent Nigerians including the immediate past National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),Mallam Adamu Mu’Azu,former Special Advise on National Assembly,Alhaji Kashim Imam and former National Chairman of the defunct CPC,Senator Rufai Hanga, narrowly escaped death in the Thursday tragedy in Mecca.
Multiple eyewitnesses at the scene said Mu’Azu,Imam and Hanga had joined millions of other pilgrims in stoning the devil when the stampede started.
Other prominent Nigerians close to the scene were the PDP Youth Leader Abdullahi Maibarisa, Deputy Comptroller General (Operations) of the Nigerian Immigration Service Mr.Muhammad Babandede, and a former member of the House of Representatives.
The hajj rituals continued yesterday although with security beefed up across the various points in Mecca.
Alhaji Umar Farouk a Nigerian pilgrim from Zaria, Kaduna state said by SMS that “in spite of the tragedy, pilgrims are determined to perform their hajj duties.”
Another Nigerian pilgrim,Alhaji Abdullahi from Kano asked Saudi Arabia to stop what he called long-existing discriminatory practices during hajj.
“ The designation of pilgrims into categories of Non Arabs, Africans and others ensures discriminatory treatments and arrangements,” he said.
According to him pilgrims from US, UK, Canada and European countries are always treated with courtesy whereas every Muslim,irrespective of his colour,should enjoy equal treatment.
King Salman has ordered a comprehensive review of arrangements for the annual hajj pilgrimage that sometimes involve some three million pilgrims.
The Saudi authorities are in the process of reaching being expected to reach the Nigerian and other countries’ officials anytime from now, with the list of the victims according to nationalities.