Hundreds of Nigerian women held in Saudi Arabia for traveling unescorted

by Isi Esene

Reports say 398 Nigerian Muslim women traveling on pilgrimage to Mecca were temporarily held at a Saudi Arabian airport for traveling without male relatives.

The women were reportedly held between Thursday and Monday at the King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah.

A spokesman for Nigeria’s National Hajj Commission, Uba Mana, said the women were allowed to proceed with their pilgrimage earlier today following diplomatic intervention.

He said the misunderstanding occurred due to “communication gap” between the authorities of both countries.

He said an agreement between the countries exempts Nigerian women from requiring a male relative to escort them during the Hajj pilgrimage which, according to sources, costs about $4,000 per person.

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