2024 Hajj: Seven Nigerians Arrested In Saudi Arabia

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In a circular dated 6 June, NAHCON’s Coordinator in Makkah, Dr Aliyu Tanko, informed the States Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards (SMPWB) that the arrested pilgrims were detained outside their hotels. 

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has announced the arrest of seven Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia for failing to carry their NUSUK identity cards. 

The NUSUK card, introduced by Saudi authorities, is essential for identifying authorised participants in the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage, Daily Trust reports. 

Last year, the absence of proper identification led to illegal pilgrims overcrowding the Mina camps, which deprived some Nigerians of the services they had paid for.

In a circular dated 6 June, NAHCON’s Coordinator in Makkah, Dr Aliyu Tanko, informed the States Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards (SMPWB) that the arrested pilgrims were detained outside their hotels. 

The circular emphasised the importance of collecting and using the NUSUK ID cards to avoid arrests, especially with the upcoming month of Dhul Hijjah. Dr Tanko urged all SMPWB’s and tour operators to ensure their pilgrims are fully aware of this requirement. 

He highlighted the necessity of carrying these cards at all times as they grant access to essential services during Hajj. Pilgrims can also download the NUSUK app to access digital copies of their cards. 

NAHCON reminded that penalties for not having Hajj permits include a fine of SR10,000, six months’ imprisonment, deportation, and a ten-year ban from Saudi Arabia. 

Dr Tanko appealed to all SMPWB’s and tour operators to strictly adhere to these guidelines to prevent any disruptions during the pilgrimage. 

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