Worried about the reported alleged poor feeding and accommodation of Nigerian pilgrims performing this year’s Hajj, the Senate through its Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday expressed satisfaction on the two arrangements after conducting an on-the-spot assessment in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.

Senate Chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) led some of the committee members, including senators Sharafadeen Alli (APC, Oyo South) and Shahabi Yau (APC, Zamfara North) to visit many of the pilgrims in their hotels and to see how they were being served food.

Ndume, while speaking to journalists after the assessment tour said the Senate was concerned over the report of alleged poor feeding and accommodation of Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia which he noted saturated social media with fake photos.

“The Senate as an institution concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of citizens decided to come and investigate the matter to ascertain the truth or falsity of the situation,” he said.

Also speaking, Senator Alli said the assessment tour afforded them the opportunity to know the true situation of things on the feeding in particular which he declared was contrary to the news making the rounds in the media.

He said: “We thought that since we are here, it would be nice to visit the pilgrims. Secondly, there were rumours before we left home (Nigeria) about the situation of the pilgrims here.

“So, it is right that we are here; it is better to come out and conduct an on-the-spot assessment of the situation. What we have seen so far is contrary to the things trumped up at home.

“About the welfare of the pilgrims: I think the pilgrims are well-taken care of, and as far as their feeding is concerned, we have seen the food. It is basic and not below any standard. Then, on the issue of the woman (a pilgrim from Kwara State) who was rumoured to have committed suicide, I would say that from the video footage and information that we have here, it’s clear that she fell off the top of a building. It wasn’t a matter of suicide.

“It was an unfortunate incident, and whatever Allah wills, there is nothing a human being can do.”

He, therefore, advised Nigerian pilgrims to be well-guided, follow instructions, and worship Allah wholeheartedly during the Hajj exercise, adding that they should not be distracted by earthly things during the pilgrimage.

Hajj: Nigerian Senate happy with pilgrims’ feeding, accommodation in Saudi

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