Investigation is currently in progress over an alleged attempt by a Nigerian pilgrim to pick up lost cash during the circumambulation (Tawaf) of the Ka’aba at the holy mosque in Saudi Arabia.
The Sokoto State pilgrim was said to be trying to pick up the money from the floor at the mosque when some other pilgrims raised alarm, accusing him of being a pickpocket. Daily Trust gathered that the police officers around the mosque picked him and detained him, despite efforts to explain himself to them. There was an obvious language problem, our reporter said.
Nigerian officials, however, said they were discussing with the Saudi authorities on how to release the pilgrim. They earlier promised to release him to perform the hajj rites but he was still in detention at the time of filing this report yesterday.
Meanwhile, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) says it will include the cost of Sallah ram (hadaya) in subsequent hajj fares.
The chairman of the commission, Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar, disclosed this during an inspection of tents in Mina after some pilgrims complained of being swindled by agents who claimed to be helping them with the ram slaughtering rites.
Barrister Mukhtar said in order to prevent similar issues, the commission approved JAIZ Bank to collect money for hadaya at the cost of N23,000 per pilgrim which ended a week after the hajj airlift began.
But pilgrims who could not make the deadline in Nigeria paid R460 in Saudi Arabia, equivalent to N46,920.
He said the commission would investigate the matter immediately in order to prevent a re-occurrence. Other complaints from pilgrims during the visit to the tents include persistent late arrival of meals, especially dinner, and spoilt meals often served by caterers contracted to feed Nigerian pilgrims.