To avert reoccurrence of stampede and other unforeseen circumstances during this year’s hajj exercise, Nigerian pilgrims have been called upon to abide by new arrangement of stone throw at Satan in the Jamrat.
Makkah Coordinator of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Dr. Aliyu Tanko made the call yesterday while sensitizing pilgrims from Adamawa State on the new arrangements.
Dr. Tanko said currently the Ministry of Hajj, Saudi is working on the stipulated time each country will be expected to do the stoning of Satan.
He said upon release of the timing, pilgrims will be grouped in batches of 250 and attached with a leader or guide who will lead them to do the stoning.
He appealed to the pilgrims particularly the women to abide by the timing and give them maximum support and cooperation to ensure the arrangement succeeds.
According to him, “In the past what is obtainable is when pilgrims arrive at Muzdalifah, short stay or long stay, from Muzdalifah they pick their pebbles and head straight to Jamrat where they throw stones.
“But because of what happened last year, the authority took proactive measures in order to protect the lives and properties of the pilgrims. They decide to redirect that instead of everybody (pilgrims from the whole world) in Muzdalifah to be heading towards the Jamrat, they will return back to their tents in Mina. And then there is schedule for every country to go and throw the stone. Again, there is a guide assigned to every state that will be carrying the pilgrims in 250 batches. This guide who knows the terrain and root would lead these pilgrims from their tent to go and throw the Jamrat and bring them back.
“And by this arrangement, the issue of pilgrims missing their road which used to be very common and endangers many pilgrims is now over. So we are now soliciting for the cooperation of the pilgrims to obey their leadership so that everything will go smoothly and they return back to Nigeria safely.
“So adequate arrangements have been made on these to ensure that within no time or in any case even if it will take longer time, the safety of the pilgrims is paramount.
“Again, right now the Ministry of Hajj, Saudi Arabia is working on the schedule for the whole world. And we hope by tomorrow (Tuesday) the schedule will be out. And when it is out, Nigeria will take its own and so it will relate to all the states in the federation. So that every state will know the exact time they are expected to move on the first, second and third day,” he said.

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