Saudi Arabia deports 171 female pilgrims from Nigeria

September 26, 2012 19:32

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NAN-H-133

Deportation

Kano, Sept. 26, 2012 (NAN) Saudi Arabia on Wednesday deported 171 female pilgrims from Nigeria, who travelled to the country to perform the hajj.



They were deported for travelling without their ‘muharram’ (husband or blood relation and other relatives).



The women from Katsina and Taraba states arrived at Malam Aminu International Airport, Kano, at 4.55p.m. in a Max airline Boeing 747 flight.



The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the pilgrims, who were deported from Medina, looked tired and dejected.



An official of the airline, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told NAN that 111 of the pilgrims were from Katsina State, while 60 were from Taraba.



He said the pilgrims from Katsina State would be transported to Katsina by the airline on Wednesday, while officials of the Taraba Government would be contacted to make arrangements on how to transport those from the state home.



Some of the pilgrims from Taraba told newsmen that they spent two days at Medina airport without food or adequate care.



The pilgrims, who could not control their emotions, described the treatment meted to them by the Saudi authorities as `inhuman’’.



Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, Kano State Pilgrims’ Welfare Board,  Alhaji Laminu Rabi’u, has appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in the matter to save the country further embarrassment.



``I am calling on the Federal Government to do something urgently in order to save our pilgrims and the country from further embarrassment,’’ he said.



All efforts by NAN to contact officials of Taraba State Pilgrims’ Welfare Board or any government official to comment failed. (NAN)



MTM/AEA/JCE



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