Vice President, Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo has requested the Saudi Authority to expedite action and resolve the issues surrounding the detention of female pilgrims adjudged to be on their own without male companion (Muharram) within 24 hrs so as to return to normalcy.
He made this call when he invited the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria Khaled O.Y. Abdrabuh to his office specifically to register Nigeria’s displeasure with the treatment meted out to her pilgrims. The Vice President noted that reports available to him suggests that only Nigeria pilgrims were subjected to such dehumanizing treatment and requested the Saudi Authorities to apply caution and flexibility to allow our pilgrims undertake their sacred religious duties.
According to a press statement by Umar Sani, the his spokesman, VP Sambo further stated that should the Saudi authorities not desire our pilgrims to perform this year’s hajj they should let the country know. Explaining further, he noted that no reasonable and responsible government will sit and fold its arms while its citizens are manhandled. He therefore requested the Ambassador to do all within his powers to ensure that the issues are resolved within 24 hours and that the outcome of such resolution should be communicated to him.
While explaining the position of the Saudi Arabian Government, the Ambassador Khaled O.Y. Abdrahuh said that Nigeria was not treated in isolation but that it affected all countries around the world. He said that it was not a new policy but that the Saudi Government decided to be flexible in previous years but was strict this time around. He said that currently a meeting is ongoing in Ryadh the Saudi Arabian capital between the Ministries of Hajj, Foreign Affairs, Interior and the Governor of Mecca with a view to resolving the impasse speedily. He assured that the matter will be resolved within the 24 hours as agreed.
Yesterday Newsdiaryonline.com reported that emirs and other leading stakeholders have been reacting furiously to this development especially the fact Nigerians were singled out for such treatment.Some stakeholders were contemplating boycotting this year’s hajj.
Perhaps FG’s intervention may indeed bring the impasse to an end.Meanwhile, the women are reportedly languishing in dehumanizing conditions at their detention centre;and many are hoping and praying the the issue be resolved amicably and quickly too.