No fewer than three Nigerian pilgrims, including a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), died while several others sustained varying degrees of injuries in a fatal road accident in Saudi Arabia on Friday morning.
The accident, which occurred along Medina-Makkah highway, about 120 kilometres to Medina, involved government sponsored pilgrims from Zamfara State.
Although the cause of the accident was not yet ascertained, the pilgrims were said to be on their way to Medina after a successful pilgrimage.
The National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) confirmed the ugly development to journalists in Makkah.
According to NAHCON Commissioner in-charge of Health, Dr Ibrahim Abubakar Kana, the Saudi security in Madinah called to inform the Nigeria Hajj handlers about the accident, the victims and the other three survivors of the accident, are all from Zamfara State.”
Kana said already a medical team has been sent on the instruction of the Chairman of the Commission, Mr Abdullah Mukhtar Muhammad to liaise with the NAHCON Madinah Coordinator, Alhaji Ahmad Maigari to link up with the Saudi security and health authorities for necessary documentation and final burial arrangement.
The deceased were Shinkafi Mudi Mallamawa, APC Chairman in Shinkafi Area Council, his counterpart, Abdullahi Jafaru Gidan Sambo from Kaura Area Council and Abdullahi Shugaba of Maru area Council.
The development brings the number of Nigerian pilgrims that died so far, in the holy land this year to ten.