Hajj Stampede NLC urges investigation into deaths

He advised that the 805 injured among whom were 61 Nigerians, be given urgent and best medical attention.

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Victims of the 2015 hajj stampede play

Victims of the 2015 hajj stampede

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday in Abuja called for a thorough investigation into the two major incidents that led to fatalities during the 2015 Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

This is contained in a statement signed by NLC President Ayuba Wabba, while commiserating with the families of the 767 Muslim faithful who died in a stampede on the way to Jamrat Complex (Stoning Site) in Mina, Saudi Arabia.

"In order for transparency and re-assurance, we urge that countries whose citizens perished in the two incidents be made members of the body of inquiry.

"But most importantly, perhaps, time has come for the Saudi authorities to review their crowd control management techniques and administration of the Hajj generally.

"Our special condolences go to the families and loved ones of 54 Nigerians who were among the dead. We pray for the repose and admission of their souls to heaven.

"As painful as this incident is, we believe it is predestined. Accordingly, the victims should be seen as martyrs who gave up their lives in worship,'' Wabba said in the statement.

He advised that the 805 injured among whom were 61 Nigerians, be given urgent and best medical attention.

He acknowledged that managing a mammoth crowd, sometimes in excess of two million people during every annual pilgrimage, was no mean task, for which the Saudi authorities deserved commendation.

The NLC President, however, noted with over 1,200 deaths, including those who died in the crane collapse, the 2015 Hajj ranked among the most eventful in recorded history of Hajj.

"We are shocked and completely at a loss by the extent of the losses this year.

"That is why we are calling for a thorough investigation of the two major incidents that led to these deaths, '' he added.

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