The number of Nigerian pilgrims that lost their lives in the stampede at Mina, Saudi Arabia, last Thursday, has risen to 20 from the initial six.
There were fears, yesterday, that the death toll may rise further as more states are still searching for their ‘missing’ pilgrims. Taraba, Sokoto and Gombe states have announced the loss of some pilgrims from their states.
Already, two justices of the Court of Appeal, Justice Abubakar Abdulkadir Jega, brother of former INEC Chairman, Profesor Attahiru Jega, and Justice Musa Hassan Alkali, and front line journalist and columnist, Hajiya Bilikisu Yusuf, among others have been confirmed dead.
The Amirul Hajj of Taraba State, Alhaji Abbas Ibrahim, and two of his wives are also among the dead.
Sokoto State lost nine pilgrims in the stampede. Also, a staff of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, (name withheld), also died in the crush.
Taraba State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board confirmed the death of the state’s Amirul Hajj for the 2015 pilgrimage, Alhaji Ibrahim, the First Class ruler of Zing.
Chairman of the board, Alhaji Hamman-Adama Tukur, confirmed the incident.
Tukur explained that the emir died on Thursday during the stampede, adding that the body of the late traditional ruler was buried in Makkah on Friday.
He disclosed that many indigenes of Taraba are still missing, while a few others, whose names he did not mention, but who sustained injuries, are receiving treatment in Saudi hospitals.
Alhaji Hassan Mijinyawa, Chief Press Secretary to Taraba Governor, also confirmed the death of the monarch.
He, however, said consultation was still ongoing between the state government and the Zing Traditional Council, before a formal pronouncement would be made.
The Zing Traditional Council has also confirmed that the Emir died along with two of his four wives during the stampede.
The Tafidan Zing, Gurama Bawa, who confirmed the death of the wives, said the late emir was aged 62 and had been on the throne for 19 years. He left behind, two wives and 13 children.
Similarly, Sokoto State Government announced that nine pilgrims from the state were among those who lost their lives in the disaster.
In a statement in Sokoto, the government said that its officials, led by the Amirul Hajj and leader of its delegation, the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmad Aliyu, who was still in Saudi Arabia, confirmed the tragedy.
It said that the team was still working round the clock to identify many of the pilgrims from the state who were injured.
According to the statement signed by Imam Imam, Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Tambuwal on Media and Public Affairs, the injured are receiving treatment in hospitals in Saudi Arabia.
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