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Nigerian pilgrim gets $200 reward for returning found hard currency during Hajj



Nigerian pilgrim gets $200 reward for returning found hard currency during Hajj

A Nigerian pilgrim at the just concluded Hajj rites has been rewarded with $200 (about N70, 000) for returning a bag that contained valuables including hard currency amounting to over N400, 000 lost by another pilgrim in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The pilgrim from Niger State, Musa Mohammed Edotsu, who found the bag containing the money in one of the toilets in Mecca, handed over the hard currency to Niger State pilgrims’ officials who, in return, were reported to have given the money to the owner. Another pilgrim from Niger State, Alhaji Abdul Isa, a journalist reported through his WhatsApp page from the Holy land, adding that the money, which “belonged to the Chairman of the Enugu State Pilgrims Board, Alhaji Zukalraini Saeed,” was returned to him after due diligence confirmed that he was the real owner.

Ameerul Hajj of the Niger State Pilgrims, Alhaji Abubakar Magaji, who also confirmed that the said amount was handed over to the owner, maintained that this was done after identifying the other items found in a hand bag which included an international passport and some keys.

Magaji was said to have appreciated the gesture of Musa Edotsu for returning the amount at a time most pilgrims could be out of cash, saying that the pilgrim would be rewarded with $200 by the Niger State Pilgrims Board. The owner of the money, Alhaji Zulkalraini Saeed, also appreciated the gesture of Malam Edotsu and the officials of the Niger State Pilgrims Board for exhibiting such “high level of honesty by returning the money.”

He implored other pilgrims to emulate the character exhibited by the pilgrim from Niger State, adding that honesty and transparency were among the virtues Islam preached and stood for. Meanwhile, more than two million pilgrims took part in this year’s Hajj rites, according to official figures, compared to 1.86 million in 2016 and just 24,000 in 1941.

Some 18,000 civil defence employees, among tens of thousands of security personnel, helped safeguard pilgrims, officials say. Additionally, thousands of security cameras were set up along the pilgrimage route. Twenty-five hospitals backed by 180 ambulances and more than 30,000 health practitioners were mobilised to provide emergency services to pilgrims, according to the hajj ministry.

Around 14,000 international and domestic flights have so far transported pilgrims, according to official figures. Around 21,000 buses have also been used. Eight million copies of the holy Qur’an and their translations as well as other religious books are being handed out to pilgrims, official figures show. Saudi Arabia hopes to welcome 30 million pilgrims annually in the kingdom by 2030. Muslims also flock to the country for the umra pilgrimage, which can be performed at any time of the year. Around 54 million pilgrims have attended the hajj over the past 25 years, according to official figures.

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