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Nigerian Hajj Stampede Victim Tells How he Survived

BellaNaija.com

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HAJJ Stampede

The tragic stampede that occurred last Thursday during hajj in Saudi Arabia, is still a hot topic in the news, as more details about the incident are starting to be revealed.

Hamza Musa Kabir, a 55-year-old trader who is from Kano, recently recounted his ordeal during the incident, and how he survived, Vanguard reports.

Kabir said:

We set off at sunrise from Muzdalifah and marched towards the Jamarat,” the place in Mina where pilgrims ritually stone the devil.

We were more than halfway through the procession when the road was blocked by the police, which led to buildup (of pilgrims).

Then the police blocked all the roads, leaving us with only one route. The situation became worse when the police allowed people returning from the Jamarat to use the same route back to their tents where the pilgrims were staying.

From where I stood, I could see a police officer on a raised platform at a nearby control post beckoning at pilgrims returning that they should move on.

Because those returning were moving in the opposite (direction) of the surging crowd, there was a stampede.

People became weak from suffocation and heat. People couldn’t breathe (in the crush). Many collapsed, mostly women and the old and disabled on wheelchairs.

I also was pinned down by this huge man I believe to be an Asian. I had to strip myself of my shroud which had become an obstacle to my escape.

I raised my hand and grabbed the shroud of another pilgrim from Nigeria who was already standing on a fence. He couldn’t pull me up because I was pinned down by this huge man.

In an act of desperation, Kabir grabbed the man’s testicles and squeezed them which made him jump off me.

This enabled me to use my other hand to reach for the metal bar of the fence, and grab it. I then pulled myself up with the help of another young Arab man who was standing on the fence.

I was so dizzy and weak and too weak to walk. I was spread on the floor and another pilgrim, seeing that I had regained consciousness, offered me his other shroud.

People offered me drink and some food. I then realised that I had been bitten (on) the side, by a young man from underneath.

I spent, like, two hours sitting down recuperating.

After that, I was assisted by another pilgrim from Niger to make it to the Jamarat and carry out the stoning rites.

What I saw on my return to the scene of the stampede frightened me, because I just saw countless bodies lying on the floor covered in white shrouds, and I knew I could have been one of them.

Still, he is not too frightened to return.

I know I will not die until the appointed hour…. Hajj is very important to my faith, and no obstacles will discourage me from seizing another opportunity to come back.”

Photo Credit: www.herald.co.zw

14 Comments

  1. Josephine Alaba makeup.

    September 28, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Thank GOD for your life. May the dead rest in peace.

  2. The Muslim girl

    September 28, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Shame on the Saudi Government! They could have done better. It’s just carelessness, very poor organization. Smh! Rest in peace to the departed souls, may their hajj be accepted by Allah SWT

  3. ElessarisEllendil

    September 28, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Sad! Nigeria should withdraw our Saudi ambassador in protest, shoddy job!

    Frightening how the little things can often mean the difference between life and death, had a woman fallen atop him for example.

  4. Mom of 2

    September 28, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Jesus Christ is the only way, the truth and the life. No one comes unto the FATHER except through him. May the souls of the departed rest in peace.

  5. Tosin

    September 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    woah.
    you know even though it’s a religion, traditions can still change… e.g. year-round travel to reduce the crowd at the eid, electronic Hajj, or at least aerial cameras and traffic control rooms to monitor and control the pilgrims better. :-/

  6. Drknite

    September 28, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    The good news is that the dead went to Jesus. I hope I have a chance to perish doing something holy.

    • Lapetite

      September 28, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Jesus??

    • Tosin

      September 29, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      this laugh will not finish today, oh Lord

  7. ti

    September 28, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Interesting story,esp d part where he had to squeeze d balls,he he,dt moment when u see death & throw caution to d wind.Rip to d dead.DTS y some write deir will b4 going dere.

  8. Corolla

    September 28, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    @momof2, please shut up! You have no tact whatsoever! Do you think this is the appropriate time to display the “superiority” of your religion? I am christian, but the way some of us carry on is apalling.

  9. nnenne

    September 29, 2015 at 2:19 am

    Sad. To think they blamed the stamped on Africans.
    RIP to the dead.

  10. Fey

    September 29, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Is it a must to ”stone the devil”?

  11. Agy

    October 1, 2015 at 4:46 am

    They stoned the devil and devil retaliated by stoning them back. What a religion!.Brain washed.

    • Fauz

      October 5, 2015 at 11:15 am

      If u don’t have better thing to say why not keep quiet. U better wake up cos those that lost their life on the right path is better off. Rubbish

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