The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) said 18 Nigerians died in Saudi Arabia during the 2016 Hajj.
The head of NAHCON’s medical team, Ibrahim Kana, who disclosed this at the 2016 Hajj post Arafat meeting in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, said the 18 pilgrims were among the 76,000 pilgrims who travelled to Saudi Arabia for 2016 Hajj .
The victims were said to be from Kwara, Kogi, Bauchi, Taraba, Niger, Kaduna, FCT, there were foreign-based Nigerian pilgrims as well.
Kana, said two pilgrims, including a 40-year-old woman, died in Madinah, three died in Muna, while 13 died in Makkah. A mentally ill woman was amongst the victim.
He however, said the death toll in the 2016 hajj is the lowest recorded in five years. According to Kana, the low figure was as a result of enhanced sanitation, increased medical awareness and compressed national medical team.
NAHCON’s medical team attended to over 21,000 patients since the commencement of the hajj rites and detected five pregnant women despite repeated warnings.
The Hajj is 95 per cent complete and pilgrims started travelling home on Saturday. NAHCON’s chairman, Abdullahi Mukhtar, said all states who failed to give basic transport allowance to their pilgrims as well as those who collected Adiya money (money for ram slaughtering), and failed to remit same to NAHCON, would be penalised.
He said the commission would reimburse those who paid for but did not enjoy products and services like air conditioned tents, and the newly introduced e –wristband.
Meanwhile, stakeholders have urged NAHCON to sustain and upgrade the standard of operations carried out in the 2016 Hajj Exercise.
Stakeholders made the call at the meeting, which also focused on reviewing the challenges encountered during the Hajj exercise and plans for the 2017 hajj.