World Bulletin / News Desk
Nigerian authorities have displayed their anger at the deportation of more women by Saudi Arabian authorities, as they arrived in the Kingdom to travel to Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
The latest round of deportations from Saudi Arabia had seen 43 more being deported, for not having a male escort or chaperon – a requirement for the performance of the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj.
Last week, Nigeria moved to suspend all Hajj flights bound for Saudi Arabica, after more than 1000 women were denied entry into the Kingdom, detained and then deported back to Nigeria.
However, flights to Jeddah and Medina resumed on Sunday, after Nigerian officials said that they had solved most of the administrative problems.
According to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, more male escorts will be accompanying female pilgrims on the same flights.
Previously there were agreements made between the Saudi Hajj Ministry and Hajj officials from Nigeria, whereby
Saudi officials would allow female pilgrims entry, despite being alone or not carrying their husband’s names – which is common in the West African country.
Nigerian Hajj authorities and government officials have formally launched a complaint with the Saudi government about this issue, in the capital Riyadh.
Some 95 000 Nigerian Muslims are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage later this month, along with some 3 million other pilgrims from around the world.