The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, on Tuesday, disclosed that the country’s death toll has risen from 54 to 64, and the number of injured Nigerians, risen to 71.
In a statement issued by made the Media Head, Mallam Uba Mana, at a briefing with journalists in Makkah, the Commission said that it cannot declare the over 200 Nigerians missing as being dead since it is yet to find their corpses.
Mana said the Commission was reluctant in releasing the figure of missing Nigerians all along because it kept increasing and decreasing every hour, owing largely to the inability of some states officials to give accurate situation report.
According to NAHCON, the figure stated cut across 19 states and the FCT, including one official from NAHCON.
The states are: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Ekiti, FCT, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina , Kebbi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.
“NAHCON spokesman said. “We cannot declare missing Nigerians dead because you cannot confirm someone dead without the corpse. And because during the stampede, helicopters came around picking victims and taking them to hospitals, we have decided to extend our search to all hospitals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“On missing Nigerians, Kaduna all along said they had no missing pilgrims. But by yesterday, they called and said they cannot find six of their pilgrims. So the figure keeps changing, it may increase or decrease. The number of those injured have decreased because some of them have been treated and discharged.”