Lagos and Asaba — The Saudi government has apologised to two Nigerian pilgrims maltreated by security personnel at the Prince Muhammad Bn Abdulaziz Airport in Madina.Audu Muhammad and Ibrahim Godi, both from Nasarawa State, were reportedly brutalised by customs officers shortly after their arrival in the holy city.
The deputy governor of Madina region, Sheikh Mohammad Albijawi, who tendered the apology during a visit to the victims, vowed that the security officials, who offended the pilgrims, would be sanctioned.
He urged the pilgrims to be of good conduct and perform the yearly spiritual pilgrimage based on religious guidelines and instructions.Albijawi, disclosed that the Saudi authorities have put facilities in place to ensure a hitch-free regilious exercise.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Umaru Salisu Zainabu, commended the authorities for the swift action. Also the victims were excited at the response. Seventy-nine thousand Nigerians are performing this year's rites, according to the Chairman/CEO, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), and Malam Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad.
Also yesterday, the Delta government enjoined intending pilgrims to pray for sustainable peace, unity and prosperity of the state in particular and the nation in general.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who gave the advice during the pre-departure briefing organised for the 75 Muslim pilgrims from the state, also urged them to be good ambassadors by shunning acts capable of bringing the image of the state to disrepute.
Speaking through the Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Ernest Ogwezzy, the governor noted that religious pilgrimage was intended for the spiritual edification of the pilgrims, pointing out that he was glad that the Muslim community in the state was embarking on the exercise.