Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images.
Nigerians Headed to Mecca Denied Entry, Forced to Return Home
Saudi Arabia revokes visas for 170 Nigerian pilgrims en route to Mecca, leaving them stranded. Diplomatic efforts secured entry for some, but many were forced to return home abruptly.
Over 170 Nigerian travelers en route to Saudi Arabia found themselves denied entry, as Saudi authorities reportedly revoked their visas upon arrival. The incident unfolded with 264 passengers originating from Lagos and Kano, who had diligently secured visas and undergone thorough screenings before embarking on their journey. However, the unfortunate turn of events transpired as their visas were purportedly revoked while in transit.
Upon landing in Saudi Arabia, authorities took the unprecedented step of refusing entry to the entire group, prompting instructions to the Nigerian Air Peace airline to repatriate the passengers back to Nigeria. The abrupt and unexplained visa cancellations left both travelers and airline officials baffled, as the affected individuals insisted that they had meticulously adhered to all entry requirements for the Middle Eastern country.
Amidst the confusion, no official statement has been issued by Saudi authorities regarding the incident, leaving the affected individuals and the public in the dark about the motivations behind the mass visa revocation.
In a commendable display of diplomatic intervention, the Nigerian embassy stepped in to address the situation. As a result, Saudi Arabia ultimately permitted the entry of 87 passengers, while the remaining 177 were repatriated to Nigeria on Monday night. The majority of these travelers were on a pilgrimage to undertake the lesser Hajj (Umrah), a sacred journey to the Islamic holy city of Mecca.
The abrupt denial of entry has sparked concerns and questions, with both the Nigerian and Saudi Arabian governments yet to provide clarity on the circumstances surrounding the visa revocation. The incident has left many, including the affected passengers, seeking answers and resolution in the wake of this unexpected and disruptive turn of events.
From Your Site Articles
- This Is How Muslims Observe Ramadan, Tiila and Eid al-Fitr in Tamale, Ghana ›
- Animated Film "Bilal," Inspired by Ethiopian Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Gets US Release ›
- Photo Series: Vic Mensa's Pilgrimage to Ghana ›
Related Articles Around the Web