Saudi Arabia Deports 510 Nigerian Female Pilgrims Despite the Vice President’s Intervention

Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2012 at 6:58 AM

By Adeola Adeyemo

Despite the Vice President, Namadi Sambo‘s intervention into the detainment of over 1000 Nigerian female pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabian authorities have deported 510 pilgrims. 171 pilgrims had earlier been deported on Wednesday.

The female returnees were among the Nigerian women pilgrims for the 2012 hajj detained in Medina and Jeddah. The authorities of Saudi Arabia insisted that the women were unaccompanied by male relations which was considered against laid down rules of the kingdom.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Khalid Abdrabuh had on Wednesday given an assurance that the controversy over the detention of the female Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia will be resolved by Thursday. Despite this, they were deported on Thursday.

Spokesman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Mallam Uba Mana told Punch that those brought back were a part of 1020 earlier detained by the Saudi officials at the King Fahd Airport.

He was however silent on the fate of others who were still detained in Saudi Arabia.

“We are awaiting a response from the King of Saudi Arabia so that a discussion can be opened between the two parties. We strongly believe that there is hope in sight, we hope that shortly the whole thing would be resolved,” he was quoted as saying.

He said the commission hoped that the Federal Government at the Presidency level would soon settle the matter which is already threatening the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

Vanguard reported an intriguing development noting that the husband of one of the female deportees also returned home with his wife, in protest, when the Saudi Authorities refused to clear his wife, even after explaining that he was the husband of the woman.

To resolve the issue, President Goodluck Jonathan  has constituted a Presidential delegation to interface with the Saudi authorities.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, named Aminu  Tambuwal as leader of that delegation.

Other members are: Minister of State for  Foreign Affairs,  Dr. Nuruddeen Mohammed, Ambassador Shehu Galadanchi;  Sheikh Sherif Saleh and Chairman of the Hajj Commission, Muhammad Bello.

The delegation is expected to depart for Saudi Arabia as soon as an appointment is finalised with the appropriate Saudi authorities.

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  • 28 Comments on “Saudi Arabia Deports 510 Nigerian Female Pilgrims Despite the Vice President’s Intervention”

    Comments
    • Hasi September 28, 2012 at 8:00 AM

      As a Muslim guy this really angers me, Even some of the Nigerian women who were deported attended hajj with their Husbands , so its just prejudice!!!, there are many Saudi, Indonesian, Malaysian women who travel without a male counterpart in groups this isn’t new news. I’ve been to Hajj two times. and I’ve seen countless women walking around without male counterpart attached to their hip. Any Nigerian Muslim making excuse for Saudi Government is not being genuine to themselves. We are Africans- we have to respect ourselves as such, no matter christian muslim or Jew. I’ve never seen Mecca or Jerusalem as “holy lands” because they’re filled with hypocrites who lie in the name of religion. The Quran Torah and Bible are Holy books but the inhabitants of the holy cities are Amongst the unholiest in the world Saudis are no different then Israelis . No matter how “good” of a muslim/jew/christian we are, the color our skin, nationality on passport is what people notice 1st. Nigerians esp muslims need to protest this injustice, as SOME of the deported women were actually accompanied by husbands.

      • Oma September 28, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        If what you are saying is true, then SHAME on the Saudis for this discrimination.
        http://hushitsonlysmalltalk.blogspot.com/

      • Laila Ikeji September 28, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        woww! our VP influence no high reach.
        http://www.LailaIkeji.com

      • Sarah September 28, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        Thank you that a muslim is pointing this out. This shows that they are discriminating against Nigerians.

        • arinola October 18, 2012 at 8:55 AM

          The attachment they are requesting for will make people to lie more than before, because female will be forced to attach themselves to somebody (any male, if possible). God will help us

      • Ali September 30, 2012 at 1:24 AM

        ..and the fact that ” there are many Saudi, Indonesian, Malaysian women who travel without a male counterpart in groups this isn’t new news” makes it ok for them to go for hajj without a male counterpart right? I mean, as a muslim, is that what you’re saying?

    • Bar Baric September 28, 2012 at 8:18 AM

      This is a very positive development. Since our government will not stop using taxpayers’ funds to sponsor personal religious tourists, other people will help us do it. Imagine the waste, the refusal to do the right thing. Nowhere in the world is like Nigeria. I cannot imagine why we keep trying to export our “Nigerian Factor” to other nations, expecting that they’ll welcome it.

    • bbb September 28, 2012 at 8:37 AM

      eya

    • ifey September 28, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      simply shows how Nigeria is viewed as insignificant or powerless in the eyes of the international community!

    • Aibee September 28, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      I am a christian but I find this rather distasteful. We are Nigerians and except if you belong to the upper class, what are the odds that a couple can afford to go on Hajj at the same time? This is a rite that people save for years to be able to make it at least once in their lifetime. Even though the government sponsors about 70% of the pilgrims, what are the odds that the government will sponsor both the husband and the wife in the same year? What are the odds that a family can afford to have a relative accompany a woman on hajj? It is based on these realities that there had been a diplomatic understanding between the Nigerian and Saudi authorities that officials of the National and State Hajj Commissions will act as sureties/chaperones to the females in their delegation. Why then were Nigerians singled out for this treatment? And I understand that if a person is deported from Saudi Arabia, the person can’t go there on Hajj for another 5 years. That is a lot of people who have been denied the right to obey one of the pillars of their religion for the next 5 years.

      I believe this is a political move by the Saudi government because some Islamic clerics in Saudi have accused the ruling King of being to liberal and so the government has begun to take a hard a hard stance on issues. I stand to be corrected but I believe that Nigerian women were picked because our Government’s bark is worse than its bite. This crises had been brewing for days and our government did nothing till these women were deported. It would have been better if we had organised a means of getting the women back home, before they were deported, while we resolve the issues through diplomatic channels.
      As for that excuse that Nigerian women go to Mecca to shop and not to perform the religious rites, I do not believe it one bit. These people go in delegations and stay in hostels/hostels. Off course, in between the religious rites, they will have opportunities to sight-see and shop. That’s how the Christian Pilgrimage to Jerusalem/Rome and the Holy Lands operate and I believe the same applies to the Muslim pilgrimage. Nigerians are mostly well behaved people. Should we allow the ignoble 5% to tar us all with the same brush of indiscipline?

    • simdamsel September 28, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      All falacy …. There is no place like HOLY LAND .Nigeria image abroad has really been tarnished so i don’t blame d saudis for deporting ,because most of dis women go there for business and some go for prostitution there ,@ least we read and hear stories .cus dey already have lay down rules for everyone coming to perform hajj, so why can’t dey obey it. Its actually painful to Ơ̴̴͡.̮Ơ̴̴͡ d innocents ones treated like dat. NIGERIA GOOD PEOPLE GREAT NATION.

      • htown babe September 29, 2012 at 2:40 AM

        oh shut-up what are you talkign about….unless u are not Nigerian…shut-up.
        I am nigerian, reside in the US, but come-on, bad image ornnot u should hae ur countrys aback in a situation like this. whatever u are xtain, muslim,pagan…come on

    • Amina September 28, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      They are lucky they deported them, they could have killed them.

    • tk September 28, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      Why should the government sponsor all these pilgrimages in the first place? I mean both SA AND JP!! Aren’t there more important things to spend such money on than these frivolities?
      Sad this happened to them but they too should have paired themselves up. If ur hubby is not going, sit @ home chikena! If they were spending their money, they wouldn’t have gone alone!
      There are loads of sick people that need government intervention, spend the money on them!!
      As for the Saudi govt, i’m sure they have reasons they are not disclosing as to why they deported these people! Nigerians too should develop thick skins and stop visiting the place! After all, we are going there to spend our money and most countries know Nigerians spend big!

      • laide September 28, 2012 at 1:45 PM

        “if your husband is not going…sit at home”…does that really make sense to you?

    • mercychime September 28, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      Does our government still sponsor christian and muslim pilgrims? And on what basis are they sponsored please? :(

      • e-bukun September 28, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        Because our constitution does not understand what separation of church and state means. Religion is interwoven with our politics, which is what fuels the conflict in Nigeria.

    • Aminata September 28, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      It has been said before and i will say it again Arabs are the most racist people on earth especially towards Africans even my Somali muslim friends some of whom can pass for Arabs detest them and have undergone racist treatment in Saudi Arabia. My Bangladeshi friend and her family experienced discrimination when they went to Saudi they kept being told how can they be muslims yet cannot speak Arabic among other things being looked down upon etc. Like Hasi said in the first comment the inhabitants of these so called religious lands are some of the worst people on this earth look at the Israeli treatment of Africans living in Jerusalem very sad

    • farida mamman September 28, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      Just to point out that the government doesnt sponsor pilgrimsyo saudi..for jerusalem i dont know since am a muslim.
      People save for years to get the money to pay,more than 500000.government only organises the activities especially as we carry nigerian passports,so in essence we are under nigerian cover
      The only ones who are sponsored are the doctors who go as part of the medical team,the journalists who form the media team and some other officials who are responsible for ensuring the pilgrims have a smooth sail..

    • Engr.A Umar September 28, 2012 at 7:34 PM

      Am surprise to hear this . The rules and regulations of Saudi are very powerful that we all know. I have been to Saudi. Arabia nine times for hajj. We use to see Arab women’s and girls of other nations who use to come for hajj with out male partners why should Nigeria be the case ?

    • Bimpe September 28, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      Me I have converted to Sango. All of them are even doing shakara with all the respects we have for these countries

    • iamfascinating September 29, 2012 at 12:13 AM

      hmmn, words become life.
      http://www.thestunninglady.blogspot.com

    • NNENNE September 29, 2012 at 3:30 AM

      That’s why Nigerians,(Christians, Muslims, etc) should love and not kill each other in the name of a foreign religion. By the end of the day, they see us as poor Niggers.

    • Abdallahmim September 29, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Al amdulilah thank God nothing can’t happen without reason because saudi arabia not discrinimate nigeria due to what is going on in nigeria apart for some nigerian outside behavious totaly bad.going to saudi as pilgrim is by religion why we nigerian not pratice religion obidience before going to perfom hajj may Almighty Allah mercy us

    • Muftau September 29, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Why is d world full of people of hate [Christians] and the ignorant Muslim who have fail to read there Qur_an and Hadith Of the prophet which condemn women from going to a place that will last for more than 3 days with out their Muharam[Husband, Father, Brother and alike]. Saudi authority are following the guidance of Islam [Sharia] coz the Pilgrim will last for weeks, so please stop the hatred b4 u die of it and 4 d ignorant Muslims you should get out of darkness.

    • Nigerian women November 12, 2012 at 12:37 AM

      i still don’t understand why so many Nigerian Women has to travel and live in Saudi Arabia

    • Truth November 22, 2012 at 6:14 AM

      OMG get real. All they’re going to do is over breed and try to sit on their asses and live life for free at hard working honest human’s expenses. It has NOTHING to do with religion either. It’s simple economics.

    • maigari abdullahi garba May 24, 2013 at 12:57 AM

      I tot d whole muslim brodas an sistas on earth know’s d curse if u commit a crime at saudi arabia in meeca.4 dat muslim’s shld fear Allah.may almighty Allah 4gv our since an grant us pis in our grave-Amin