- Water-tight security in Kano •7 churches, 8 shops razed - Police
- Terror suspect nabbed with N3m •As army uncovers bomb factory
- 2012, deadliest year for journalists - UN
- Court adjourns on missing N12.4bn oil windfall
- Why we cleared Molete under-bridge - Oyo govt
- Court jails courier over $286,400 cash
- Court rejects fridge repairer’s plea to keep Ibori’s bribe money
- Oyo to involve artisans in N.5bn schools rehabilitation contracts
- All set for LG poll today in Benue
- Mrs Braithwaite buried amid encomiums
- Forget presidency, Jonathan’s aide tells ex-military rulers
- FG sends delegation to Onaiyekan’s consecration, Suntai
We starved, wept like babies - Deported pilgrims recount ordeals
What is news is the graphic narration of what most of them consider as their gruelling ordeals in the hands of the Saudi authorities.
They are currently sulking and gnashing their teeth after their deportation by the Saudi authorities for being single.
The deportees are fighting back over what they claimed as the humiliation they suffered in the hands of Saudi Immigration officials. According to them, they were not only literally left in the cold but also denied food and water as well as having been subjected to other forms of indignity:
Speaking with Saturday Tribune, some of the deported pilgrims, said they could neither take their bath nor eat for two days before they were returned to Nigeria
Spokesperson for the deportees in Oyo State, Mrs Kadijat Suleiman, 35, from Ibadan, explained that they were only able to eat when they got to Kano State, on the third day.
The pilgrim, who was moved to tears and looking depressed, further said their luggage, containing food and other items, were still in Saudi Arabia, as they left without being allowed to pick their luggage.
Others spoke with the Saturday Tribune in Kano on Thursday:
Hannatu Zubair from Katsina State:
“We actually saw hell in Jeddah. The authorities refused to give us food and water, and we were made to sleep on bare floor. They didn’t even have respect for us as women. In short, they subjected us to all manner of inhuman treatment.
Maryam Ibrahim from Taraba State:
“We were confused when we arrived Jeddah. The moment our plane touched ground, the Saudi authorities took us straight to a detention camp.
Because of the humiliation were made to go through, we wept like babies. In spite of our protest over the inhuman treatment meted out to us, the Saudi authorities turned a deaf ear to our plight. What is our offence to have warranted such humiliation and treatment like prisoners of war by the Saudi authorities? Was it because male relatives did not accompany us to the Holy-land?”
“I am a single woman. What are they trying to say? Are they asking that one must look for a male companion at all cost? If so, it means they do not care whether such a person is genuine husband or not. Won’t this kind of precondition or issue encourage prostitution in Saudi Arabia?”
Meanwhile, the 2012 Amire Hajj for Oyo state , Shekikh Muyideen Bello, has explained the real reason why hundreds of Nigeia’s pilgrims were rejected by the Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Bello, who is always blunt on critical issues, said Saudi authorities took the decision to disallow the pollution of the Holy Land allegedly by Nigerian female pilgrims many of whom habitually engaged in prostitution, rather than go to Mecca to serve Allah.
He spoke in Ibadan on Friday at a farewell programme for the second batch of the 2012 intending pilgrims from the state, held at Olodo Hajj Camp.
The cleric also claimed that some intending pilgrims were accompanied on the pilgrimage by their concubines, as against going with their legally wedded spouses, a situation he said,led to the disparity in the surnames contained in the travel documents of some of the pilgrims and their supposed husbands.
“When the news came that Nigeria’s female pilgrims were being detained and others deported by the Saudi authorities, I telephoned one of our people in the Holy Land and he said to me that the behaviour and attitude of many of our female pilgrims was responsible for the embarrassment.
“He even told me he could point at ladies currently in Saudi Arabia who, last year, devoted their time in Saudi Arabia to prostitution. It is the attitude of our women that caused this national embarrassment. I charge those of you about to depart for Hajj to abstain from prostitution. Do not get to the Holy Land and begin to sell your bodies.
“It is usually the practice that the relationship between a female pilgrim and her male companion is stated clearly in the travel documents. This was what happened to those who were rejected despite having male companions. There was no correspondence in the names of those they claimed were their husbands. Why would people go to Mecca with their concubines?
“Any man who goes to Mecca to commit adultery will be embarrassed by Allah while in the Holy Land. A lot of pollution goes on in Mecca. After climbing Mount Arafat, you will see men and women flashing smile to each other with their gold teeth, saying “Ajii…Ajaaa.” Many of our pilgrims do not go to serve Allah but for self- gratification.
“Some of you also go for trade and see the spiritual exercise as an avenue to prefix Alhaji or Alhaja titles to your names. This is not the purpose of the pilgrimage; it is an avenue for you to serve Allah. So, go there with the fear of Allah I your hearts,” the cleric, who spoke in an exhortation, counselled.
He condemned Federal Government’s fire-brigade approach to Hajj issues and called for a re-orientation in the way critical issues are addressed, so as to avoid being seen by the international community as an unserious nation.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi, in a remark, charged the yet-to-be airlifted pilgrims to do away with corrupt tendencies, live within the confines of Allah’s injunction, urge them to avoid acts capable of tarnishing the good image of the state.Share
Translate this site