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Saudi officials apologise to Nigerian pilgrims maltreated at Madina Airport

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..‘No Nigerian was killed in Ghana over riot’

By Victoria Ojeme

The Saudi government has apologised to two Nigerian pilgrims who were maltreated by security personnel at the Madina Airport.

This is even as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday that no Nigerian was killed  in the protest that trailed alleged killing of a Ghanaian by a Nigerian in self-defence in Sowutoun Area of Ga Municipality of Greater Accra Region on August 18, 2017.

Deputy Governor of Madina region, Sheikh Mohammad Albijawi, who tendered the apology during a visit to the victims in their hotel, assured that the security officials would be sanctioned for the maltreatment.

Nigerian pilgrims leave the arrival hall of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport shortly after their arrival from the muslim holy city of Madina recently. AFP PHOTO

He further urged Nigerian pilgrims to be of good conduct and perform the annual spiritual pilgrimage based on religious guidelines and instructions.

He further disclosed that the Saudi authorities had put facilities in place to ensure a hitch free Hajj this year.

The Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Umaru Salisu Zainabu, also commended the Saudi Arabia authorities for a swift response over the incident.

Responding, the tortured pilgrims, Audu Damina Muhammad and Ibrahim Nani Godi, expressed gratitude to the Saudi authorities and the National Hajj Commission, NAHCON, for responding to their plight promptly.

The Chairman/CEO of NAHCON, Malam Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad, had recently announced that 79,000 intending Pilgrims were going to perform this year’s Hajj.

This, he revealed, comprised 60,000 under state government quota and 19,000 under private tour operators.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said no Nigerian was killed in the protest that followed alleged killing of a Ghanaian by a Nigerian.

The ministry in a statement signed by the spokesman, Ms Jane Adams, explained that the Nigerian lodged a complaint at the police station about the deceased Ghanaian, regarding a theft at his residence.

The statement read:  ‘’While the investigations were ongoing, the deceased Ghanaian had crept into his apartment and attacked the Nigerian for reporting the case to the police, but the deceased Ghanaian was overpowered by the Nigerian who in self-defense stabbed him on the head.

‘’This led to the death of the Ghanaian and subsequent placing in protective custody of the Nigerian by the Ghanaian police.

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