The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has threatened to execute any Hajj pilgrim caught with hard drugs in the Holy Land.
The chairman of NAHCON, Alhaji Abdullahi Muktar Muhammed, revealed this at a press conference in Abuja, following a letter sent to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) by Saudi authorities.
Muhammed, in company of four of his national commissioners said the commission has made the stand of the Saudi authorities known to the pilgrims adding that out of over 27,000 pilgrims that have been airlifted to the Holy Land, not a single case of drug trafficking has been recorded among the pilgrims.
“We all know the stand of the Saudi government when it comes to drug trafficking, in fact they wrote a strongly worded letter to us on their stand insisting no amount of international pressure will make them spare the life of any convicted drug trafficker caught.
‘We have also educated our pilgrims on this and except for a woman who was caught with a large quantity of Tramadol (a controlled drug), and it is still been investigated, no Nigeria pilgrims has been arrested so far.
He said that the use of e-tracking has greatly assisted in managing and ensuring hitch-free visa procurement for the exercise, pointing out that by next year’s hajj, the all process would be done 100 percent electronically.
Alhaji Muhammed said the commission has been able to procure visa for over 57,000 pilgrims while the remaining 8,000 visas would be ready within the next few days.
He said adequate arrangement has been made for the feeding and accommodation of pilgrims in Medina, Makkah and Muna with medical personnel on standby to give needed medical attention to any pilgrims.
The NAHCON chairman assured that the commission would beat the September 17 deadline fixed by the Saudi authority for all pilgrims to be in holy land for this year’s hajj.
As at yesterday, a total of 27,383 pilgrims have departed for the Kingdom with 70 flights.