Independent Hajj Reporters yesterday urged Saudi authorities to stop embarrassing Nigeria by taking unilateral decisions that can be sorted by the two countries amicably.
The non-profit organization was reacting to the detention of 400 female Nigerian pilgrims reported by Daily Trust yesterday.
A statement by the organization’s national secretary Ibrahim Muhammad and publicity secretary Abubakar Mahmoud, said the Saudi action is aimed at ridiculing Nigeria before the international community.
The statement said that “the detention of 400 female Nigerian intending pilgrims is very unfortunate and capable of destroying the decades-long cordial relationship between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
“The holy land authorities have available diplomatic avenues of sorting out this issue with their Nigerian counterparts without necessarily taking these embarrassing steps of detaining and maltreating our intending pilgrims,” the statement said.
It said that “it takes a full year to organize this holy event. If there is anything like this in the offing, the Saudi authorities should have notified their Nigerian counterparts, particularly the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), who is regulating the operation instead of ridiculing and exposing our law-abiding pilgrims to untold hardship and psychological trauma.”