By Our Correspondent
Following the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that officials of the 2015 Hajj exercise should conduct head count to ascertain the number of Nigerian victims in the recent Hajj Stampede, the Cross River State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board says no casualty was recorded among the pilgrims from the state.
Head of Islamic Affairs in the State Department of Religious Matters and the Coordinator of the 2015 Hajj operations from Cross River State, Mallam Bello Audu gave the information during a phone interview with our correspondent in Calabar.
Bello who until recently was the acting Secretary of the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board said he has been in touch with the thirty seven pilgrims in the holy land, explaining that “they are hale and healthy”.
He said all the pilgrims have been subjected to medical test to know their state of health, which he said is needed at this critical situation, assuring that all of them will return back home soon.
“We give Glory to Almighty Allah that no pilgrim from the state was missing when a head count was done for all the 37 pilgrims from the state in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
“We also give thanks to our State governor, Senator Professor Ben Ayade who has promised to always listen to the Muslims in Cross River State and give them their rightful place in the scheme of things.
“That nothing happened to pilgrims from Cross River State also shows that the governor’s prayers have been answered as a good believer and a man of God.
“We regret the loss of lives at Jamarat, and as a Muslims, we condole with the affected persons and their families both in Nigeria and other countries of the world with prayers that Almighty Allah will grant the dead Aljana Firdaus as well as grant the victims’ families the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses.” Bello said.
The Hajj stampede occurred in Mina, a day after Arafat where pilgrims were on the way to Jamarat, and over one thousand died including 64 pilgrims from Nigeria.
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