President Muhammadu Buhari was on Monday briefed by the chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Mr. Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed, on the 2017 Hajj exercise preparations for 2018.
The NAHCON chairman declined to speak to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.
Presidential sources said the President was given “a brief update on Hajj 2017 and what the commission is planning for the 2018 religious exercise.”
According to the sources, to the President commended NAHCON for the smooth Hajj operations in 2017 and encouraged the commission to ensure that next year’s operations surpass this year’s exercise.
A total of 79,000 pilgrims made the 2017 hajj, making Nigeria among the top 10 list of countries with highest number of pilgrims that made this year’s Hajj.
About 14 Nigerian pilgrims died during this year’s hajj; seven were pre-Arafat with two pilgrims from Kaduna, Yobe, Kogi; Kebbi; Katsina and the FCT; seven were post-Arafat, with two pilgrims from Kano (one international); and one each from Osun, FCT, Zamfara, Katsina and one NAHCON legal adviser.