Nigerian pilgrims from Kwara State are now homeless in Makkah due to non-availability of hotel accommodation, HAJJ REPORTERS can report.
This is coming as uncertainties continue to mar the 2022 Hajj operations in Nigeria with mounting challenges ranging from inability of many registered pilgrims to secure visas, access to services paid for, cancellation of visas, or airlift to the holy land for the Islamic pilgrimage.
The Kwara pilgrims, numbering 291, are currently stranded as they now sleep on bare floors along the holy city’s streets more than 24 hours after their arrival.
They are the third batch of Kwara state pilgrims who arrived Makkah on Friday morning, findings revealed.
HAJJ REPORTERS gathered that the pilgrims who arrived the kingdom through Jeddah were appalled when they arrived Makkah only to find out that they don’t have hotel accommodation.
Kwara state pilgrims inside hotel reception
“After waiting for hours, we had to take solace on the streets having spent days at Hajj camp in Nigeria, and the hours spent on transit from Ilorin to Jeddah and Jeddah to Makkah. It is most unfortunate. We never expected this shoddy arrangement,” one of the stranded pilgrims told this newspaper by telephone.
The pilgrims, comprising 129 males and 163 females, departed Ilorin Airport Thursday night and arrived Jeddah through Max Airline flight VM1037.
Another pilgrim lamented the development saying: “We arrived in Makkah in the last 42 hours and they are yet to give us accommodation. What have we done to these people? Having subjected us to another lengthy delay at Ilorin before our departure now they are punishing us. We don’t deserve this treatment.”
An elderly pilgrim also told HAJJ REPORTERS that “they didn’t make any provision for us at all. I was vomiting inside the plane; it is a lady sitting beside me that assisted me. When I finally arrived, there are no medical personnel to attend to me.
“I am currently in a seriously stressed up conditions. I am from Lagos state but I travelled through Kwara State Pilgrims Board. I arrived Kwara since Thursday and we were on queue for almost 12 hours without anybody attending to us. In fact, one of the pilgrims was shedding tears and we have to console her. Please help us tell the world that Kwara state pilgrims boards is a failure. We are suffering here. We need assistance”.
HAJJ REPORTERS reports that the pilgrims paid N2.5 million each that covers visa, return ticket, hotel accommodation in Makkah and Madina, local transportation, feeding, tent services in Mina and Arafat, BTA, among others.
Several attempts to obtain comments for this story from the spokesperson of Kwara State Pilgrims Board were not successful as her known mobile telephone lines were switched off as at the time of publishing this report.
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