The Saudi authorities have introduced an electronic system into the stoning of the ‘shaitan’ (devil) at Muna after Arafat day.
This is to monitor the movement of pilgrims to ensure orderliness and check stampede in the 2019 pilgrimage.
The Representative of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr Tanko Aliyu, disclosed this to journalists on Sunday at Muna when he led them on inspection of Nigerian pilgrims’ tent at Muna.
The monitoring is part of efforts by NAHCON in ensuring hitch-free pilgrimage, as the pilgrims prepare to stone devil in Muna after Arafat day, Aug. 10.
“The new idea is necessitated by the fact that previous stoning was not without some negative developments.
“Some pilgrims were known to have missed their bearing in the process of stoning the three devils among others,” he said.
He urged NAHCON officials and their counterparts in the states to swing into action by educating the pilgrims on the need to adapt to the new system, adding that it is meant for their safety.
According to him, stoning devil is a crucial process leading to acceptable Hajj as well as being the climax of the pilgrimage.
Read Also El-Zakzaky: Court grants IMN leader, wife medical leave to India
NAHCON’s representative noted that controlling movement of pilgrims during the event cannot be over emphasised.
Aliyu promised the pilgrims that they would be conveyed in the buses to areas earmarked for the event, to ease their movement.
According to him, the pilgrims will be in groups with a specific time to carry out stoning, to avoid stampede.
He said that a particular road leading to the stoning of the devil had been dedicated to Nigerian pilgrims, given the fact that Nigeria constitutes one-third of the population of non-Arab countries performing pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia every year.
Nigeria’s tent is set to receive its pilgrims while security personnel were seen guarding the tents, 24 hours to check breaching of peace during Arafat day.
Alhaji Usman Sambo, officer in charge of Administration, NAHCON, for 2019 Hajj and other officials of the commission also attended the event.