Some 600 Cameroonian Muslim pilgrims who travelled to Saudi Arabia to take part in the Oumra 2017 have been left stranded in the Middle Eastern country. French language daily, Le Jour reported June 29 that the pilgrims who were supposed to have returned to Cameroon on June 26, are hoping an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft would take them home soon.
The pilgrims, Le Jour reported, say they were abandoned in the foreign country by officials of Cameroon’s ministry of territorial administration and decentralisation and members of the commission set up by government to manage the pilgrimage. They also complain that the Cameroonian consulate in Jeddah is not doing anything about their plight.
Alhadji Mohaman Salissou, of the pilgrims who spoke to Le Jour by phone, said they have been abandoned to themselves. “We are stuck here at the airport. We sleep outside because we lack shelter.” Said he. “It is disturbing and annoying at the same time. We were expecting our plane to take us home since Monday (June 26). We are stranded here and even those who were expected to take care of us are not saying anything.” Said Alhadji Ibrahim, another pilgrim in the group of about 600, noting that they are not evening seeing the coordinators.
Alhadji Ahmadou Modibo, one of the coordinators contacted to comment, said everything has been sorted out to ensure all the pilgrims return. Meanwhile, some of them who had enough money to pay their flights, opted for other air liners while those short of funds continue to wait for the Ethiopian airline plane hired by the government commission.