Details have emerged on how three All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains from Zamfara State died in a road crash along Makkah- Madinah highway on Friday.
The deceased were in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj pilgrimage – the fifth pillar of the Islamic faith.
They were killed early morning Friday some 120 kilometers away from Makkah, on their way to Madina, Islam’s second holiest city which pilgrims visit whenever they are in Hajj.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has since confirmed the identities of the deceased.
In a condolence message signed by The National NAHCON, Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad on Saturday, said “the unfortunate incident happened along Makkah to Madinah highway in the late hours of the night.
“Saudi Arabian authorities have since evacuated bodies of the dead to a hospital and are treating those that sustained injuries.
“NAHCON has also sent a team of its personnel to retrieve the bodies for internment according to diplomatic guidelines. Those who lost their lives are:
1. Shinkafi Mudi Mallamawa (male) from Shinkafi Local Government, with passport number: A09413309
2. Abdullahi Jafaru Gidan Sambo (male) from Kauran Namoda Local Government, with passport number: A09413813
3. Abdullahi Shugaba (male) from Maru Local Government, with passport number: A50080535.
The NAHCON chief said three others who survived the accident are in stable condition, yet they are undergoing thorough investigations and treatment.
The deceased are chairmen of local government councils chapters of the ruling APC in Zamfara, according to the acting chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Zamfara state Abdulrazak Kaura who is also in Saudi Arabia.
He said the late Sambo was the APC chairman of Kaura Namoda Local Government, Mallamawa of Shinkafi Local Government, and Shugaba Ruwan Dorowa of Maru Local Government Area.
Those who survived the accident include Nasiru Anka of Anka Local Government, Tafa Nasarawa Bukkuyum of Bukkuyum Iocal Government, and Garba Ziti of Gummi Local Government.
“While we pray for the quick recovery of those injured, we commiserate with the families of the departed and government of Zamfara state. We pray to The Most Merciful Lord to grant the deceased Jannatul Firdaus and the entire people of Zamfara state the fortitude to bear the losses,” the NAHCON boss said.
These deaths brought to 10 the number of casualties recorded so far by Nigeria during the 2018 Hajj.
The commission also commiserates with families of all pilgrims who lost their lives during the 2018 Hajj and especially the government and people of Niger state over the loss of one of its pilgrims who, inadvertently, stepped into an elevator while it was undergoing repairs..
“While we regret the occurrence, the Commission has since instituted investigation into the tragedy in conjunction with Saudi Arabian authorities with the aim of preventing any reoccurrence of the situation,” Barrister Muhammad said.