Saudi: 1 000 Nigerian women still stranded

2012-09-27 16:43
Muslim pilgrims gather in their hundreds of thousands in Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage. (File, AP)

Muslim pilgrims gather in their hundreds of thousands in Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jeddah - More than 1 000 Nigerian women pilgrims remained stranded at a Saudi airport for a fifth straight day on Thursday after being denied entry into the kingdom because they were not accompanied by men, an airport official confirmed.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the women have been denied entry because "they are not accompanied by a mahram [the statutory male companion]," adding that talks were continuing between Saudi and Nigerian officials.

The official said that the Nigerian consulate in Jeddah had offered to ensure the women's return after the annual hajj pilgrimage, but Saudi immigration officials were "sticking to their position".

The kingdom has yet to release a formal statement regarding the case.

The women had begun arriving at Jeddah airport on Sunday, a report by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, which oversees Nigerian participation in the pilgrimage, said.

"Upon enquiries by the reception team officials of the National Hajj Commission in the airport, they were told that the pilgrims were held back because of lack of mahram," said the report, which was submitted to the Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Only Nigerians affected

About 171 of the women flew home to Nigeria on Wednesday, an official said.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan set up a five-member team on Wednesday to negotiate with the Saudi authorities, an official statement said.

According to the report presented to the committee, Nigerian pilgrims' welfare boards have in the past acted as "mahrams" and visas had been granted on that basis.

The report said that officials observed that flights which arrived at Medina airport were not subjected to such treatment. The report also claimed that "only Nigerian pilgrims" were affected by the policy.

Last year, nearly three million Muslim pilgrims performed the hajj, which represents one of the five pillars of Islam and must be performed at least once in a lifetime by all Muslims who are able to do so.

Roughly half of Nigeria's 160 million people are Muslim.

Read more on:    goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  saudi arabia  |  religion  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.