The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made an apology to the Nigerians and their government over the brutalization of two pilgrims from Nasarawa by customs officers. The incident took place at Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport on August 16.
Two pilgrims from Nigeria, Ibrahim Godi and Audu Muhammad, were brutalized by two customs officers just after they arrived from Abuja.
Bello Tambuwal, the Secretary of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, informed NAIJ Nigeria that Saudi Arabia custom officers called the persons mentioned above aside after they just passed through all the necessary checks. The frightened pilgrims rejected to follow the officials, after which they were brutalized.
Dr. Tambuwal himself took Ibrahim Godi and Audu Muhammad to hospitals. He also added that Saudi government proposed to pay all medical bills. Now men are staying in Riyad Al Zahra Hotel located in the Markaziya area.
On Monday, August 21, Wahid Asahin, the Deputy Governor of Madinah, visited the pilgrims’ at the hotel. He wanted to deliver the apologies of the Saudi Arabian government personally. Mr. Asahin labeled the incident as unfortunate. Wahid Asahin also brought some gifts to Nigerian men.
The deputy governor guaranteed Nigerian officials that such incidents would never happen again. He also added that the government had already taken all the necessary disciplinary measures against two customs officials.
Umar Salisu, Nigeria’s Charge de Affairs in Jeddah, told journalists that just after the incident took place, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria filed an official complaint to Saudi Arabian Hajj authorities in Madinah. Additionally, the Nigerian embassy filed a complaint with Saudi Arabian authorities in Riyadh on behalf of the Nigerian Government.