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NAHCON secures release of 7 Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) weekend said it secured the release of seven Nigerian pilgrims arrested by the Saudi police in Mecca for failing to carry their Nusuk identity cards with them.

The Nigerians were arrested at various locations in the city between Monday and Saturday.

NAHCON coordinator Aliyu Tanko, said the commission eraler warned pilgrims against performing the hajj without the Nusuk ID card.

“The Saudi Authorities arrested seven of our pilgrims at different instances. They immediately took them out of Mecca to Jeddah and detained them.

“When we got the information we swung into action and secured their release from the authorities,” Tanko said.

He added that NAHCON has been encouraging all pilgrims to carry their Nusuk card everywhere they go to avoid arrest.

One of the victims told journalists in Mecca that she lost her Nusuk card earlier given to her but she has requested for another one.

“I lost my Nusuk card earlier given to me on arrival. Although I requested another one, I am yet to get it. It was during this period that I got arrested.

The card was introduced by Saudi authorities in April this year.

Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, had said the card aims to raise the efficiency of operational procedures for the upcoming hajj season to make the pilgrimage much easier and simplified as well as to bring down instances of performing hajj in an illegal way.

The card facilitates hajj workers to identify and verify the identity of each pilgrim, and also helps prevent unauthorised individuals from entering the holy sites, thus ensuring the safety and security of all pilgrims.

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