Muslim pilgrims camp at Mount Arafat

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Muslims at Mount Arafat
Muslims at Mount Arafat

By Yusuf Zango/Makkah

No fewer than three million pilgrims converged on Mount Arafat on Sunday to mark the climax of 2016 pilgrimage.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent covering the Hajj reported that no fewer than   62,000 Nigerians were part of the gathering.

The event at Mount Arafat featured Pilgrims’ supplication for Allah’s guidance and forgiveness. Staying at Arafat from sunrise until sunset is the major rite of the pilgrimage.

Movement from Muna, where the pilgrims spent the night, started as early as 2 a.m. and was completed at about 10 a.m.

Pilgrims were camped in tents fully equipped with cooling system to alleviate the high temperature which sometimes rose to 40 degrees Centigrade.

Speaking at a news briefing, the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji AbdullahI Muktar, said the Commission was able to conclude the movement of the pilgrims at about 9 a.m. on Sunday.

”The coordination and movement were unprecedented in our history,” and he commended officials and pilgrims for their cooperation and discipline.’’

Muktar said that all the tents were provided with cooling system and water coolers while the quality of food served the pilgrims had greatly improved.

He further said that effort would be made to serve Nigerian dishes to pilgrims in subsequent years.

The Chairman also announced that there was no incident of traffic accident involving Nigerian pilgrims.

He, however, said that 10 pilgrims had so far been confirmed to have died.

He appealed to pilgrims to continue to be law-abiding in the final phase of the exercise.

Also speaking, the Head of the Medical Team, Dr Ibrahim Kana, said there was no reported case of a serious medical problem during the stay at Arafat.

Meanwhile, special prayers were conducted in Arabic, English, Hausa, Ogoni and  Yoruba by leading clerics for the progress of Nigeria and guidance of its leaders at Arafat.

Similar prayers were also offered at various tents.

*Edited by Nkechi Okoronkwo

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