Saudi Devices New Measures To Avoid Stampede, Deaths

Saudi Arabian authorities have devised new measures to prevent stampede, frictions and loss of lives on Arafat Day.

The representative of The National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Dr. Aliyu Tanko, announced this to reporters on Monday after meetings with the Saudi authorities at the tents of Mina and Musdalifa.

Tanko said: “Every year, ideas come on how to improve the process and avoid any kind of casualty. The authorities have, therefore, come up with measures to control the movement to the Jamurat because that is usually the source of casualties every year.

“So, to avoid any such situation, they have come up with new ideas, including the use of modern technology, to protect the lives of the pilgrims.”

The NAHCON representative said the Saudi authorities had expressed serious concern about Nigeria due to its position as the country with one-third of pilgrims from non-Arab African nations.

He said the authorities had dedicated a road to Nigeria at Musdalifa from where pilgrims from the West African nation will board buses back to Mina.

In turn, the authorities expect orderliness and compliance from the pilgrims.

Musdalifa is the site where pilgrims offer Maghreb (early evening) and Ishai(late evening) prayers after mounting the Mount Arafat, before proceeding to cast stones at Jamurat.

“After Arafat and after sunset, it has been said that people should not prayMaghreb until they arrive the Musdalifa to combine Maghreb and Ishai. In the past, some pilgrims would go to Musdalifa while some would go to Mina; some would get lost and find themselves in Makkah, not in their tents in Mina.

“This is, therefore, an idea to make the hajj process easy, safe and at reasonable time.

“It is usually pilgrims who choose to go individually that get lost because of the similarities of the roads and the congestion of pilgrims,” Tanko said.

Besides, the authorities have also put the kingdom’s army, police and traffic officers on standby.

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