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Hajj Stampede: President Buhari Laments Huge Loss Of Lives In Mina

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SAN FRANCISCO, September 25, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari said on Friday that he was deeply saddened by the colossal calamity which occurred Thursday in the Saudi Arabia, claiming the lives of hundreds of pilgrims, including some Nigerians.

President Buhari, in a statement issued by his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said he believes that the stampede at Mina in which a notable Nigerian journalist, Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf and erudite scholar, Prof. Tijjani El-Miskin as well as others lost their lives is a monumental tragedy, not only for citizens of the countries involved, but for the global Islamic community.

The President therefore extended his sincerest condolences to the families of the over 700 pilgrims who lost their lives in this latest disaster in the Holy Places which occurred less than two weeks after a crane collapse in Mecca claimed more than a hundred lives.

President Buhari also commiserated with the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) on the sad loss of Hajiya Bilkisu, whom he described as an exemplary, dedicated, knowledgeable, very credible, highly-respected, outstanding editor and columnist who, even in death, will remain a glittering role model for journalists, within and outside Nigeria.

The President said he had taken note of the assurance by the Government of Saudi Arabia that Thursday’s catastrophe will be investigated and urged the Saudi King Salman to ensure a comprehensive and thorough exercise that will identify any flaws in Hajj organisation with a view to avoiding a recurrence of such tragedies during the annual pilgrimage.

β€œIn the knowledge that it is not within our powers to question the will of God, President Buhari prays that Almighty Allah will comfort the families who lost their beloved ones in the stampede and receive the souls of all those who died in the Holy Land while fulfilling the religious obligation of the Hajj,” the statement said.