2015 Hajj victims yet to be compensated by Saudi Arabia – NAHCON


The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has stated that victims of the 2015 crane crash and the Minna stampede Hajj were yet to receive monetary compensation promised by the Saudi authorities.
Chairman of NAHCON, Abdullahi Mohammed disclosed this at the investigative hearing on the role of NAHCON in the 2015 Hajj, organized by the House of Representatives adhoc panel raised for that purpose.
He however assured that the commission was working hard to ensure the pledged compensations were paid to the families of the deceased and injured victims.
“Nigeria has not received 1 million Saudi Riyal and 500 Saudi Riyal that were promised as compensation for the dead and the injured.
“We are working on it and as soon as we receive them we will forward them to the families of the victims. This is far from being the truth, there was no mass burial as each victim of the stampede was buried in his own grave marked and identified.
“Also the stampede did not occur as a result of the movement of Nigeria’s tent or as a result of the movement of VIPs as erroneously conceived,’’ he added.
Mohammed, however, advocated for more training to increase the capacity of officials handling the crowd during Hajj.
“Officials involved in management should be multilingual so that they will be able to communicate with people of different nationalities and ensure more efficient crowd management,’’ he added.
The NAHCON Chairman further said that modalities had been put in place to guard against Nigerians participating in Hajj from becoming casualties in the case of any future stampede.
Virtually all the state and local government officials have been engaging pilgrims on education on possible areas of dangers and ways to avert them. The commission is also working with the ministry of health to establish a blood bank to be used in DNA profiling in case of any emergency.
“We also have to sensitize the state officials on the need for probing the pilgrims’ movement to avoid crowd areas and to observe the timing given to us by the relevant authorities. And we will introduce an electronic device that will help us in the management and tracking of the pilgrims’ location at all times,’’ Mohammed said.


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