House of Reps. to investigate hardship faced by Nigerian pilgrims during 2023 Hajj

House of Reps. to investigate hardship faced by Nigerian pilgrims during 2023 Hajj

The House of Representatives has directed the Committee on Pilgrims Affairs (when it is formed) to conduct a thorough investigation into the several issues that arose from the recently concluded 2023 Hajj exercise.

This followed the adoption of a motion at plenary by a member from Oyo state, Mr Kinsley Stanley.

According to the legislator, Nigerian pilgrims had terrifying sufferings during the 2023 Hajj due to the inability of some airlines (such as Arik) to transport pilgrims as a result of scarcity of aircraft, as well as inadequate tent housing at Mina and Arafat.

Other issues, he said include inferior tents with unhealthy living arrangements and environments, a lack of proper medical assistance for pilgrims in emergency situations, and a lack of proper transportation logistics for Nigerian pilgrims.

” Nigerians being made to miss their flights due to stringent bottlenecks regarding withholding of their International Passports; inability to secure airport slots for Nigerian airline operators for lifting of Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia back to Nigeria and many others.

“Also aware that over twenty five thousand (25,000) Nigerian pilgrims (including those who paid for Tent A VIP Class) were stranded at Mina Due to inadequate tents and oversubscription leaving Nigerian Pilgrims Sleeping on the roads, under bridges and nearby mosques there are cases of several public officials (such as present and former Governors, Senators and Hon. Members) who had no tent and were made to sleep in unhealthy places and conditions.”

He went on to say that some travel firms committed the worst kind of unprofessionalism by failing to supply pilgrims with promised amenities such as lodging, tents, food, and transportation.

Mr Stanley further stated that there was a lack of emergency medical care for sick people in distress at Mina camp, as many distressed patients could not be responded to due to ambulance access restrictions to the camp.

He expressed concern that the agency mandated to cater for pilgrims affairs (NAHCON) has not been proactive in ameliorating the plight of Nigerians during the 2023 Hajj.

Adopting the motion, the House also charged the Committee on Legislative Compliance (when it is formed) with overseeing its implementation.

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