The Guardian
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‘Why Nigeria recorded less casualties in Mecca’


Muslim worshippers perform prayers around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca on August 15, 2018, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city.<br />The hajj, expected to draw more than two million pilgrims to Mecca this year, represents a key rite of passage for Muslims and a massive logistical challenge for Saudi authorities, with colossal crowds cramming into relatively small holy sites. / AFP PHOTO / Bandar Al-DANDANI

Chairman of Zamfara State Hajj Commission, Alhaji Abubakar Dambo, has explained why the rate of fatalities dropped significantly in this year’s hajj.

Nigeria lost no fewer than 54 pilgrims in a stampede in September 2015 while observing the hajj.

The tragedy was the deadliest to hit the hajj in 25 years, as about 770 pilgrims died, more than 200 believed to be Africans.

The pilgrims were taking part in the hajj’s last major rite – throwing stones at pillars called Jamarat, where Satan is believed to have tempted Prophet Ibrahim.

The Guardian gathered that about 55,000 Nigerian pilgrims that performed this year’s hajj rites had unimpeded access to the Jamarat due to massive infrastructural improvement at the site.

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