Civil society urges pilgrims to obey jamarat timing

Qasim Akinreti

The Independent Hajj Reporters, a civil society organisation has advised Nigerian pilgrims to comply with the new modalities adopted by Saudi Hajj Ministry for the ritual stoning in jamarat.

The National Coordinator of the organisation, Ibrahim Muhammed gave the advice on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Independent Hajj Reporters called for urgent alliance among hajj information dissemination machinery in Saudi Arabia to take the message to pilgrims’ accommodations.

Sensitisation campaign
It also called for concerted efforts among state pilgrims’ welfare boards’ officials; National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, preachers, pilgrims’ guards and the national media team, to urgently embark on sensitisation campaign on the issue before the commencement of movement of pilgrims to Mina.

“Pilgrims should be made to understand that the measure being adopted is geared towards their safety and comfort. The penalty that will be meted out for violators should also be spelt out clearly to them, so that those who wish to toe the line of disobedience will understand the likely consequence of their actions,” the civil society said.

“While we commend the NAHCON for its timely information dissemination strategy, we urge them to fuse their machinery with those of states pilgrims’ welfare boards especially on this issue of jamarat timing,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabia Hajj Ministry official, Sheikh Mohammed said that arrangements have been concluded to assign guards who would lead a cluster of 250 pilgrims at a time to the jamarat and back.

Mohammed spoke at a meeting with the Nigerian officials and other African countries in Mina on Monday.

“Two guides from the state pilgrims’ boards and Saudi Hajj Ministry will lead the group to perform the stoning rituals and also lead them back to their tent,’’ Mohammed stated.

“Any pilgrims who violate the arrangement will be made to face the consequence while their state officials will also be held responsible,” he added.

Mercy Chukwudiebere