The death toll of Nigerians who sadly lost their lives after the September 24 stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia has risen to 309. 87 more Nigerians were added to the dead list. Sokoto and Kano states still top the list of casualties.
According to an official of the commission who pleaded anonymity stated that only 47 Nigerians remain officially missing, as those on admission have been discharged.
It will be recalled that the Head of Medical of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Dr. Ibrahim Kana had stated that the latest figures then were 222 identified bodies, 130 missing and three recuperating in the hospital and that the commission would not leave any stone unturned to account for all Nigerians.
“Majority have been buried in Makkah. We have all the records of graves of Nigerians. The idea is that we would share this with relations who may want to visit and pray for them,” Kana had said.
During the Hajj exercise when the stampede occurred, NAHCON had set up of three committee on the incident; burial arrangement headed by Alhaji Salisu Danjuma, another to liaise with families of victims headed by Dr K. K Olosho and the third headed by a Deputy Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Muhammed Babandede to investigate.
When contacted, the Commissioner Planning, Research Statistical Information and Library Service (PRSILS) of NAHCON Dr. Saleh Okenwa told Daily Trust that though he cannot give a breakdown, he can confirm that 47 Nigerians were officially declared missing. He also insisted that those missing cannot be declared dead as their bodies have not been identified.
As at 18 October, the Nigerian death toll was 199 with Sokoto and Kano states losing 79 and 20 pilgrims, respectively. Sokoto also accounts for the highest number of those missing at 59. Both states recorded the highest female casualty.