Makkah (Saudi Arabia )- The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Wednesday advised Nigerian pilgrims against violating measures introduced by Saudi Authority to curtail congestion during hajj rites.
Dr Aliyu Tanko, Director, Enlightenment and Education of the commission, gave the advice at a lecture organized for pilgrims from Lagos State in Makkah.
Tanko said the Saudi government had threatened to arrest and prosecute any pilgrim who violated the rules.
He said the state from where such pilgrim came from would also be penalised.
Tanko said the measures introduced would be strictly enforced by the authorities who promised to deal decisively with anyone who violated them.
He, therefore, advised the pilgrims to always adhere to instructions given to them by their officials to avoid running foul of the law.
He said the arrangement for movement of the pilgrims to Arafat and other sites had been finalised by the commission and would be released to state officials soon.
He warned them against taking luggage and moving to the sites individually as well as traveling to Makkah immediately after stoning the devil.
The director assured that NAHCON and the state pilgrims welfare agencies had made adequate arrangements to ensure smooth operation during the rituals.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Saudi authority on Tuesday announced measures to ensure smooth conduct of hajj, rites which will begin on Saturday.
The measures include strict adherence to the timetable of pilgrims’ arrival at Muna, Arafat and Muzdalifah as well as departure to Makkah at the end of the rites.
It also said that pilgrims would be going to the venue of stoning of the devil (Jamrat) in batches of 250, while no one would be allowed to carry any luggage to such areas.
It said the measures were aimed at curtailing congestion and avoiding possible stampede at the sites.
No fewer than 2,000 pilgrims died during 2015 hajj following a stampede at one of the routes leading to Jamrat (Venue of stoning of the devil).