The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Saturday in Sokoto, urged Saudi authorities to henceforth provide improved safety measures during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Sultan spoke on the sidelines of the presentation of the report of a technical committee set up by him to look into the state of the education sector in Sokoto State.
He regretted that the stampede at Muna on Wednesday led to the death of no fewer than 1,000 pilgrims and injured over 800 others, while many more were still missing.
”The tragedy had affected several countries of the world, Nigeria in general and Sokoto state in particular.
”Some local governments in Sokoto state like Illela, Binji, Gwadabawa and others were affected by the tragedy, although the actual casualty figures are still being ascertained by Saudi Arabian and Nigerian authorities, ” he said.
Abubakar, who is the life National Amirul Hajj, described the deaths and injuries caused by the stampede as ‘’collective loss’’.
He said that his committee was assessing the situation and would appropriately advise the Federal Government on the incident.
”We will appropriately advise the Federal Government of Nigeria to partner the Saudi Government on how to improve safety of pilgrims during the annual pilgrimage.
”The tragedy was an act of God but we will render useful advice to the Federal Government on how to improve the safety of the pilgrims.
”This is necessary to ensure the conduct of hitch-free Hajj exercise annually,” he said.
The Sultan condoled with the families and Government of Nigeria as well as other countries affected by the tragedy.