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APC Woman Leader, Over 900 Other Pilgrims Die In Mecca



APC Woman Leader, Over 900 Other Pilgrims Die In Mecca

An All Progressives Congress chieftain in Lagos State, Alhaja Ramota Bankole, is dead.

Alhaja Bankole, who was said to have celebrated her 60th birthday recently, is one of the over 900 pilgrims killed by intense heatwave in Saudi Arabia during this year’s hajj.

The Lagos State chapter of the APC has described the death of Alhaja Bankole, who was the State Welfare Secretary of the party as unfortunate and shocking.

Bankole, one of the Lagos APC women leaders from the Epe Division, died while performing a Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Seye Oladejo, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday that late Bankole was a committed member of the party.

“Her death is most shocking and unfortunate. She was a committed and experienced party leader.

“The deceased was a proven mobiliser and inspiration for women’s participation in politics. May her precious soul be in peace,” Oladejo said.

The Chairman of Epe Local Government, Ms. Surah Animashaun, had on Thursday confirmed Bankole’s death.

Animashaun, in a statement, said that the deceased was hale and hearty before leaving the country for Hajj pilgrimage.

She said, “It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of grief that I received the news of the death of Alhaja Ramota Bankole.

“It is a sad day indeed as I received the news that she died in the holy land of Mecca while on holy pilgrimage.

“I extend my condolences to the Bankole family, APC members and the entire people of Epe on the unfortunate demise of our dear sister and mummy.”

Meanwhile over 900 pilgrims died from heatwave during the five-day activities for the 2024 Hajj.

According to Agence France-Presse, the scorching heat in Saudi Arabia led to deaths among at least 600 Egyptians.

While putting the total figure at 922, according to a tally, it said many old and infirm, took part in the days-long, mostly outdoor pilgrimage, held this year during the oven-like Saudi summer.

“Relatives scoured hospitals and pleaded online for news, fearing the worst after temperatures hit 51.8°C in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, on Monday.

“Facebook and other social media networks have been flooded with pictures of the missing and requests for information.”

It said in addition to Egypt, fatalities have also been confirmed by Jordan, Indonesia, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia and Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, though in many cases authorities have not specified the cause.

Despite reports that over 900 pilgrims died during the hajj pilgrimage in Muna, Makkah, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has stated that only three Nigerians died during the period.

Speaking during the post Arafat meeting in Makkah, NAHCON’s Head of Medical Team, Abubakar Adamu Ismail, said the lower number was recorded due to adequate preparation.

While stating that 17 pilgrimage heat stroke was recorded during the period, he said they were able to be resuscitated due to their closeness to Nigeria’s hajj camp.

“If the patients had the diagnosis in Jamarat, which is about three Kilometers to the camps, they would have died.”

He added that two pregnant women had miscarriages during the period with 25 cases of severe dehydration and five cardiac arrests.

Speaking earlier, NAHCON’s head of Aviation, Mohammed Goni Sanda, said the outbound flight to Nigeria will begin on June 22 with Kebbi State pilgrims.

He said the return flights will be based on First-in-first-out with three flights scheduled daily, which will subsequently increase to four, five and six flights daily.

On his part, the Chairman of NAHCON, Jalal Ahmed Arabi, said preparations of 2025 Hajj has commenced.

He urged states’ pilgrims welfare board to end preparation for the 2025 Hajj by September to enable it have knowledge of the number of pilgrims that will participate in the exercise.