Nigeria has recorded one of the smoothest and most successful logistical arrangements in the movement of pilgrims to and from the Mashaa’ir (religious) sites, in the performance of the 2018 Hajj.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON says the movement from Makkah to Mina, Arafah, Muzdalifah, back to Mina and then Makkah, was a grander success this year, than at any other time in recent history.
The leader of Nahcon’s Taradudiyyah and Jamarah Committee, Dr Aliyu Tanko, alluded the success recorded to the co-operation of and support received from pilgrims and their State Welfare Boards and Agencies.
He said: “In the years since I have been handling the movement of pilgrims to these sacred sites, the exercise has never been as smooth as experienced this year.”
Dr Tanko also praised the State officials for reinvigorating the drive to educate and enlighten pilgrims, ahead of the movements, particularly from Muzdalifah to Mina.
This year for the very 1st time, Nigerian pilgrims were conveyed to their various tents in Mina aboard luxury buses before the closure of roads to vehicular movements at about 04:00 hours local time, on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah.
“The orderly and structured method of conveying the pilgrims to and from the sacred sites, has had significant impact on the observed decrease in incidents of missing pilgrims this year, unlike in previous years,” Dr Tanko explained.
Similarly, Nigerians were noted to have observed and respected Saudi Arabia’s schedule on the phased movements to the Jamarah, where pilgrims performed the pebbles-throwing rite.
Dr Tanko thanked and praised the pilgrims and their State officials for the co-operation and understanding, urging them to build on this success in subsequent years.
Voice of Nigeria reports that most Nigerian pilgrims performed the pebbles-throwing rite either late at night or in the early hours of the morning. Those who went in the afternoons maintained strictly, the time allotted to Nigeria and other non-Arab African countries.
Meanwhile, all foreign pilgrims who performed this year’s Hajj have been transported to their respective hotels in Makkah, to perform the Tawwaf Ifadah (circumbulation around the Ka’abah) rite.
In a related development, NAHCON has scheduled a post-Arafah meeting with all its officials for Sunday, the 26th of August, to review its organisation of the 2018 Hajj so far and finalise procedures and processes for the home-bound journey.
The Commission however, gave assurance that arrangements for conveying pilgrims back to Nigeria were in the final stages.
The departures are scheduled to commence from Wednesday, the 29th of August, on a ‘1st-in -1st-out’ basis.