By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government has declared that any intending pilgrim to the 2010 Saudi Arabia for the annual holy pilgrimage who is above 65 years or pregnantÂ would not be allowed to participate henceforth.
The state Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Mr. Babatunde Balogun stated this at a media briefing on the activities of the his ministry as well as part of events to commemorate the third anniversary of Governor Babatunde Fasholaâ€™s administration.
Balogun added that the old women may be allowed for Umrah (lesser Hajj) because it is less strenuous than the usual Hajj to Mecca .
He explained that the measure which was formulated by the National Commission for Hajj to be implemented byÂ state government is to ensure that avoidable casualties among pilgrims are prevented as much as possible.
Balogun stressed that plans have been concluded to conductÂ pregnancy tests which will be included in the series of tests for all female intending pilgrims in order to ascertain their health status.
He said that so far, about 6,000 intending pilgrims have applied out of which only 4.000 will be considered for the pilgrim this year.
Meanwhile, he also disclosed that British, Lebanese, Palestinians top the number of various nationalities that have applied for Nigerian citizenship through the state Ministry of Home Affairs.
A total number of 47 applications were received out of which 37 were approved and sent to the Federal Ministry of Interior for consideration and final approval.