Thursday, June 13, 2024
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NAHCON urges Nigerian pilgrims to obtain Nusuk card or risk Hajj exclusion

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has warned all Nigerian pilgrims not to perform hajj if they do not have the Nusuk card.

NAHCON’s Coordinator in Mecca, Aliyu Tanko, gave the warning at a press briefing on Thursday.

He urged pilgrims to ensure they possess the mandatory card before the hajj rituals commence next Thursday.

Mr Tanko stressed that pilgrims must prioritise obtaining the card to avoid any disruptions or disqualification from participating in the sacred exercise.

“The Saudi authorities are serious on this issue of Nusuk card. You must have it on arrival in Mecca otherwise you will not be allowed to perform the hajj and will face the wrath of the law in Saudi which include serving jail term and fine.

“So I urge all pilgrims to make sure they protect their Nusuk cards and those who did not have should make sure they get theirs before the hajj days begins.”

He said no pilgrim will be allowed in Minna without the card.

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The Nusuk ID card

The Nusuk pilgrims card was introduced by Saudi authorities in April 2024.

According to the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the card aims to raise the efficiency of operational procedures for the upcoming hajj season to make the pilgrimage much easier and simplified as well as to bring down instances of performing hajj in an illegal way.

“It is designed to be easy to read automatically.

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“The card facilitates hajj workers to identify and verify the identity of each pilgrim, and also helps prevent unauthorised individuals from entering the holy sites, and thus ensuring the safety and security of all pilgrims.

Punishment for defaulters

According to the Saudi authorities, any pilgrim caught without the Nusuk card will serve a jail term of 10 years, pay a fine of 10,000 saudi riyal and be banned from future hajj for a perioud of 10 years.

Rush for Nusuk card

Although it is expected that every legal pilgrim would be given the card at arrival, some Nigerian pilgrims did not get it.

PREMIUM TIMES spoke with some Nigerian pilgrims who said they are yet to get their Nusuk card.

“When we arrived, some of us were given the card from the bus, but some of us did not get theirs. We were told they will come and give us. We are still waiting.

“We complained to some NAHCON officials and and thankfully, they said they are talking with those in charge and we will soon get our cards,” one of the pilgrims said.

The pilgrim applaud NAHCON for the continuous awareness on the importance of the Nusuk card and all the efforts they are making to secure for those who did not get theirs.

“We have lodged our complain to NAHCON and they have responded. They told us we will get ours soon because we are legal pilgrims.”

Over 47,000 pilgrims have been airlifted to Saudi Arabia by NAHCON out of about 65,000 expected to perform this year’s Hajj from Nigeria.

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