By Damilola Oyedele
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said it would hold the states responsible if any of their pilgrims is prevented from entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for not possessing the appropriate documents.
This is at it disclosed that a female pilgrim from Kaduna state was returned from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
Briefing THISDAY on the outcome of a stakeholders meeting in Abuja Wednesday, the Head of Media of NAHCON, Mallam Mana Uba, said all the states have to adhere to the Muharram requirement policy.
He also expressed the willingness of the Saudi Arabia Embassy to revalidate the visas of the women who were deported and include the names of their Muharrams on the visas.
“Although their visas have not been cancelled, they are not useful technically until the names of the muharrams are included,” he said.
Uba added that nine 747 aircrafts are being used by the air carriers and would contribute to ensure that all the pilgrims arrive Saudi Arabia before the closure of the Jeddah airport on October 20, 2012.
On the allegations by the Saudi Embassy that Nigeria bears the blame for the deportation of 571 pilgrims, Uba said there was no need to place blames.
He noted that the priority of the commission was to ensure that all intending pilgrims get the chance to perform their religious obligations.
At the end of the Hajj exercise, the commission said it would hold a post- mortem to examine the challenges faced with plans to avoid such in future.