The Nigerian government has issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Saudi authorities to resolve the issues surrounding detained Nigerian female pilgrims in that country.
The government said Wednesday it expected Saudi Arabia authorities to act fast and set the Nigerian women free to perform the hajj, according to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria.
Four hundred female pilgrims from Nigeria, who arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for this year’s hajj, were on Sunday separated from their male counterparts and detained by Saudi authorities for failing to provide her Muharram that is, the approved male companion accompanying her on her trip, usually a husband, father or brother.
There are reports that the number of detained women had risen to 1000 but that could not be independently verified by this newspaper.
The matter has sparked a fierce diplomatic row between the two countries, with the foreign ministers of the two countries unable to resolve the logjam.
Shortly before the ultimatum was issued, the Nigerian Senate asked President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the matter.
The Senate has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the plight of 400 Nigerian female pilgrims in detention in Saudi Arabia.
The Senate stressed the need for President Jonathan to talk directly to King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia to ensure that the detained women were allowed to perform the Hajj.
– Premium Times