The 171 intending female pilgrims, who were deported from Saudi Arabia yesterday, narrated grim stories about their alleged maltreatment during their two-day stay in Medina Airport, saying they were left without food and in the cold since they were flown to the holy land for the ongoing hajj exercise.
The deportees, who arrived aboard a Max Air plane, which touched down at Aminu Kano International Airport at about 4:55pm, said they were turned back for not being accompanied by approved male relatives.
About 111 of them were from Katsina State while 60 were from Taraba State. Most of them were seen in tears, looking weary and upset.
Some of those who narrated their ordeals to reporters said that they were returned despite their wailings, screaming and pleas to the Saudi officials to allow them to carry out the annual religious ritual.
One of the deportees, Amina Jalingo recalled tearfully that: “We were held in Madina for two days without food. None of us could sleep because the environment was so cold. Most of us collapsed on the floor, sobbing and pleading after we were told that we would be deported. All our pleas fell on the officials’ deaf ears”, she recalled.