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Buhari President expresses sadness over Hajj tragedy

The president described the stampede as `a monumental tragedy to the global Islamic community.’

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President Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed sadness over Thursday's stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia which claimed the lives of over 700 pilgrims, including some Nigerians.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mallam Garba Shehu the president's Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and Publicity and made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja.

The president described the stampede as `a monumental tragedy to the global Islamic community.’

He extended his condolences to the families of the over 700 pilgrims including notable Journalist Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf, Prof. Tijjani El-Miskin who lost their lives in the tragedy.

He recalled that the incident occurred less two weeks after a crane collapsed in Makka and claimed the lives of 107 pilgrims.

The president commiserated with the Nigerian Guild of Editors and Nigerian Union of Journalists on the loss of Hajiya Bilkisu.

He described the late Journalist as "exemplary, dedicated, knowledgeable, very credible, highly respected, outstanding editor and columnist, who even in death, would remain a glittering role model for journalists within and outside Nigeria.

Buhari noted the assurance given by the government of Saudi Arabia that the catastrophe would be investigated.

He urged King Sakman to ensure a comprehensive and thorough exercise that would identify any flaw in the organisation of the pilgrimage with a view to avoiding re-occurrence of such tragedies.

Buhari prayed that Allah would comfort the families who lost their beloved ones in the stampede and receive the souls of the deceased in Paradise.

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