FG warns Pilgrims against drug-smuggling to Saudi Arabia


The Federal Government has cautioned Muslim pilgrims against taking banned substances to Saudi Arabia, noting that the act attracts a death penalty.

Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), said this at when the inaugural flight of intending Muslim pilgrims to 2019 Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia took off on Wednesday.

Dabiri-Erewa also reminded the pilgrims that kolanuts and prescription painkillers in large quantities have been banned in Saudi Arabia, and if found, attracts severe penalties according to new Saudi Arabia regulations.

In a statement by the NIDCOM Head of Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Dabiri-Erewa said despite repeated warnings and workshops for intending pilgrims, it was disheartening that some Nigerians still breached Saudi Arabia authorities’ law.

She recalled that some Nigerians caught with hard drugs in the last few years are still currently on death row in Saudi Arabia, pleading with pilgrims to shun the shameful act.

According to her, “the Federal government through the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, and various state boards have made adequate arrangements to attend to the medical needs of the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. Similarly, the Saudi authorities have free medical centres in all the nooks and crannies of the Kingdom equipped with all drugs for their medical needs.”

Over 65,000 Nigerians excluding the private operators are slated to perform 2019 Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia.

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