Eighteen Nigerians died in Saudi Arabia during the just concluded 2016 Hajj attended by Muslims, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) says.
The victims were from Kwara, Kogi, Bauchi, Taraba, Niger, Kaduna, FCT. There were foreign-based Nigerian pilgrims as well.
The head of NAHCON’s medical team, Ibrahim Kana, said two pilgrims, including a 40-year-old woman, died in Madinah.
Three died in Muna, while 13 died in Makkah. A mentally ill woman was amongst the victim.
He however said the 2016 death toll was the lowest in five years. He attributed the low figure to enhanced sanitation, increased medical awareness and compressed national medical team.
The medical team attended to over 21,000 patients since the commencement of the hajj rites, Mr. Kana said.
He said despite repeated warnings, the medical team detected five pregnant women.
The Hajj is 95 per cent complete and pilgrims started travelling home on Saturday.
NAHCON chairman, Abdullahi Mukhtar, said all states who failed to give basic transport allowance to their pilgrims as well as those who collected Adiya money (money for ram slaughtering), and failed to remit same to NAHCON, would be penalised.
He said the commission would reimburse those who paid for but did not enjoy products and services like air conditioned tents, and the newly introduced e –wristband.