Be good envoys, Dabiri-Erewa tells pilgrims
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has reiterated her warning to intending Muslim pilgrims yet to depart for the 2016 Hajj to resist any temptation to take hard drugs to Saudi Arabia as the offence attracts the death penalty.
In a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, she said that despite repeated warnings and workshops for intending pilgrims, it is disheartening that some Nigerians still ran foul of Saudi law.
She recalled that some Nigerians caught with hard drugs in the last few years are still on death row in Saudi Arabia.
Dabiri-Erewa also reminded the pilgrims that kolanuts and prescription painkillers in large quantities have been banned in Saudi Arabia, and offenders face severe penalties.
She said the Federal Government through the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and various state boards have made adequate arrangements to attend to the medical needs of the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, which also has free health centres.
She urged the security agencies and other para-military stationed at the various departure centres in Nigeria to screen the pilgrims before their departure to Saudi Arabia.
Since the beginning of transportation of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia on August 15, more than five Nigerians have been arrested for alleged possession of substances suspected to be hard drugs as well as kolanuts.