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Saudi accepts deported Nigerian pilgrims with valid visas

09 October 2012, 11:32

Abuja - The Saudi Arabian authorities have agreed to allow deported Nigerian pilgrims with valid visas to be transported to the holy land to Perform the 2012 Hajj.

The Speaker of the House Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal who led a Presidential Committee to Saudi Arabia, said this on Monday in Abuja, on arrival at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport.

Members of the delegation include the Emir of Zuru, Alhaji Sani Sami, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, Prof. Shehu Galadanchi, Chairman, Nigerian Hajj Commission (NAHCON), Mohammed Bello and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed.

Tambuwal said the Saudi authorities was also considering Nigeria's request that the deadline for the transportation of the pilgrims be extended to accommodate the deported ones.

``Our interface with the Saudi authorities has been very successful because we had serious and deep engagement.

``The first good news is that all those pilgrims who have secured valid visa are being taken back.

``The understanding so far with them is that they will be allowed entry into Saudi Arabia,’’ he said.

Tambuwal said that the issue of male companion for female pilgrims was also settled as the Nigerian delegation made it known that the issue of the companion (Muharam) was open to different interpretations from the four jurisprudences in Islam.

``Of course under the Islamic jurisprudence, Muharram is a requirement but there are different categories of Muharams, as different schools of Islamic jurisprudence, the Maliki, the Shafi'i, the Hambali and the Hanafi.

``These are the four pronounced schools and they have their different definition of Muharam.

``We have passed across to them that message and we believe that they understand and reason with us that in Nigeria, the predominant Islamic school of jurisprudence is Maliki school of thought, which allows for a group Muharram.’’

He said the meeting was able to reinforce the long standing relationship between the two countries.

``I believe also that, if need be, we have requested for them to extend the time of transportation and also the time of issuance of visa to our pilgrims,’’ he said.


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