Nigerians currently in Saudi-Arabia for this year’s Hajj Pilgrimage have lamented the inhuman treatment they’re suffering during the yearly exercise.


Pilgrims who spoke to Hotjist.com said the authorities did not allocate specific tent locations to Nigerians in the Mina Hajj Camp near the Holy City of Mecca.


Razaq Olabunmi said, “when we got to the Mina Camp on Monday, being the first day of Hajj, we were shocked when we realised that Nigerian Hajj Operators were not allocated any specific tent”.


Hotjist.com gathered from sources, that in previous years, the Saudi-Arabia Mutawafis usually allocated dedicated tents to each Hajj operator based on gender. This situation made it easy for each operator to manage its pilgrims and also attend to their needs.


Upon arrival at the Mina Camp, pilgrims had to scramble to tent spaces by themselves, a situation that caused several altercations between pilgrims.


In different videos made available to our correspondent, pilgrims could be seen engaging in shouting match with each other over tent spaces.


A female pilgrim, Jumai Tanko expressed her sadness saying that “one of the compulsory conditions of Hajj is that pilgrims must not engage in arguments or vain talk and here we have Saudi-Arabia forcing our people to fight within themselves.


“The feeding arrangement has also been terrible. On Monday morning, we were not served breakfast, lunch was served around 5pm while dinner came by around 2am of the following day.


Also, at Arafat, which is regarded as the most important day of the year in the Muslim Calendar, the same regime of no dedicated space ensued as different pilgrim groups fought each other to secure spaces.


Evacuation from Arafat to the plains of Muzdallifa was also hectic as some pilgrims were only transported around 3am the following day despite the fact that the evacuation is usually done between 7pm and 10pm on Arafat day.


When our source visited Camps 16, 17 and 18 occupied Nigerians, the living conditions at the camps were very appalling.


Queues of pilgrims were seen waiting to use the toilets which were small and very dirty, sometimes unflushed with human excreta filled in the VIP latrines.


Many fear that there could be a cholera epidemic within the tents. Also, there was no hand washing soaps by the wash-hand basins.


Some pilgrims were also seen under the bridges sleeping as they could not get spaces within the tents.


A group of male and female pilgrims were seen sleeping near a refuse dump around Camp 17.


None of the staff of the Mutawafis and also the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON), seen on-ground could make any official clarification.


Within the tents, there was a lot of dirt lying on the floor.


On Tuesday, NAHCON had issued a press statement saying the Commission is aware of the difficulties being faced by Nigerian pilgrims.


Mousa Ubandawaki, the Deputy Director, Information and Publication of NAHCON, said “As part of the arrangement for the problem of inadequate tent allocation to Nigerian pilgrims in Muna, the Saudi authorities have agreed to relocate about 10,000 pilgrims to an additional site in order to decongest the present tent.




“The decision is sequel to the complaint lodged by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON ) to the Muttawwif of African Non Arabs on inadequate tents, inadequate food supply and late food service to the pilgrims.





“The Muttawwif, while apologizing for the treatment metted out to Nigerian pilgrims, promised to make up for the incident by relocating the pilgrims to the Turkish Arena which can conveniently accommodate about 10,000 pilgrims. “We really want to apologize for what the Nigerian pilgrims suffered through today. However, I want to impress it on the commission that we will give them the utmost priority in the coming days for what they passed through” said Sindhi, who is the Chairman of the Company of Muttawifs.










“Therefore, from 2pm on Wednesday, we will relocate about 10,000 pilgrims outside the traditional tent area to the Turkish Arena which has better facilities and will also ease the crowd in the Muna area.”


As at 9pm on Wednesday, the arrangement of evacuating the pilgrims had not commenced.


Nigerian pilgrims also complained that the location of their camps is out of sync with the general setting of the Mina Hajj Camp. This situation, they complained caused many pilgrims to get lost and some experiencing different forms of medical challenges including psychological issues.





Nigerian Pilgrims sleeping under a bridge at Mina Hajj Camp





Our correspondent also saw some pilgrims lying around with medical conditions with no official medical personnel attending to them.


Story Credit: Hotjist.com