Lagos Pilgrim Dies In Saudi Arabia
LAGOS, Nov 17, (THEWILL) - A 60-year-old Lagos pilgrim, who was simply identified as Mrs. Oni on Tuesday died after prayers in Saudi Arabia, raising the number cases of deaths recorded among Nigerian pilgrims on Hajji in Saudi Arabia during the 2010 exercise.
The death of Oni, who was a politician from Ward ‘A’ in Mushin Local Government of the state brought the death toll of Nigerian pilgrims to eleven during the ongoing hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia.
THEWILL learnt gathered that the deceased passed on at about 1:00 a.m; and the news of her death was received with dismay as most pilgrims settled in Lagos camp expressed total disbelief and shock about the development.
It was said that another pilgrim politician in Mushin, whose name was not mentioned, reportedly said: “If not that I tried to wake her up for bath this morning (referring to Tuesday, no one would have known that Dangote had passed on.”
The cause of her death has not been made public by Hajj officials but some pilgrims have blamed the federal government for her demise claiming they were provided unhygienic food.
THEWILL gathered that a Saudi Hospital where her body was taken initially rejected her remains before it was taken to another facility for certification after some senior medical personnel got involved.
In his reaction, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Religious Matters (Islam,) to the Lagos State Government, Alhaji Abdulhakeem Kosoko quickly described her death as a miraculous blessing because she died in the holy month and in the holy land.
Kosoko said: “Death is indispensable; it has no disparity in terms of age or mental status of individuals. It comes unannounced; it comes when you least expect it. It is Allah who gives lives and it’s Allah who takes it whenever He wishes.”
While he thanked God that the deceased did not go crazy or missing, Kosoko also prayed for the lives and further protection of other pilgrims.
About 10 Nigerian pilgrims were earlier reported to have died so far during the ongoing hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia, according to Head of the Nigerian Medical Mission to Saudi Arabia, Dr Ibrahim Khana. Khana told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, that three of the dead pilgrims were from Bauchi State, two from Sokoto State, while Gombe, Zamfara, Edo, Kwara and Kebbi states lost a pilgrim each. Khana said two of the pilgrims lost their lives after they fell off the storey building they were staying, advising all the pilgrims to avoid staying in over-crowded places now that the hajj exercise has reached its peak.