Alhaja Zaynab Adewale, one of the pilgrim in the just concluded Hajj 2022 has narrated how she lost her husband, Alhaji Yakub in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when returning to Nigeria from Makkah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The deceased, Alhaji Adewale is a native of Kwara State, based in Lagos State. He left behind 4 children, with the oldest being 15 years old, including a little baby.
The couple left for hajj from Lagos, Nigeria through a Private Tour Operator, and had successfully completed the necessary rites.
According to the wife, her late husband though took ill at Makkah, his health had stabilised after visiting King AbdulAzeez Health Centre where he was treated and discharged.
It was however, learned that while returning home, Alhaji Adewale collapsed and later died at the airport in Dubai where they wanted to board a connecting flight to Lagos, Nigeria.
“We performed the hajj together. We went through a private tour operator in Lagos. After the hajj rites, he felt unwell, so we visited one health centre in Makkah and he was given medical attention. We also waited for about one week after the hajj before we proceeded on our journey back home,” wife of the deceased recounted their experience.
“On our way back home, we boarded a first plane at Emirates Airline from Jeddah to Dubai. When we got to Dubai, we had about 9 hours stopover at the airport. We started the journey on Monday, July 18 when we landed in Dubai.
“We wanted to board our connecting flight to Nigeria the second day around 10:30am. So, on that day at the airport, the announcement came that our flight would be leaving soon. I tapped my husband for us to start heading for the plane. He walked about 5 to 10 feets and then slumped.
“When he collapsed, I shouted for help, and officials of the airport came around. They tried to administer oxygen on him, but unfortunately he didn’t respond. They tried to rush him to the nearest hospital in the main town, Rasheed Hospital in Dubai. Before getting there however, he passed away,” she revealed.
Confirming the incident, another pilgrim that went through the same private tour operator said he was a witness to how Alhaji Adewale collapsed at the airport.
According to the witness, “The deceased was given First Aid treatment at the airport before taken to the hospital where he died. The CEO of the Agency, who was with the family all through, immediately communicated the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on the incident via a formal letter.”
The copy of the letter received read partly, “We wish to inform you officially of the death of one of our pilgrims which occurred at the airport in Dubai on their way back from Saudi Arabia on the 18/19th of July 2022 after a successful Hajj operation.
“They were about to board the flight from Dubai to Lagos when one of them, Alhaji Adewale Yakub slumped and was given first aid treatment at the airport. He was eventually taken to the hospital where he died. He was travelling with his wife Hajia Oluyemi Adewale. She is currently in Dubai until the matter on where the husband is to be buried is resolved,” the letter read.
Meanwhile, Alhaja Adewale said she faced a tough time at Dubai to get her deceased husband buried, adding his death came as a great shock to the family.
According to her, the deceased husband was full of life and did not show any serious illness at the point of departure to Makkah.
“It was a tough time for me at Dubai after his death. I spent about a week there. When something like this happens, the hospital will say they need consent from the parent or the brother. So, I had to call home and all that to get the consent. It really delayed his burial.
“His death was a great shock to everyone. This was someone that didn’t show any sign of sickness. Before the family could get themselves together and come to terms with his death, it took time. So, the consent to bury him in Dubai was delayed.
“They later released the consent on Friday, July 22. You know the time difference between Dubai and Nigeria is about 3 hours. So, before we could take further actions, it was the following Monday, 25. He was eventually buried in Dubai.”
Alhaja Adewale said it was not the first time her late husband would be observing Hajj, but he decided to observe the pilgrim with her being a first timer.
She said that the 2022 Hajj was not too stressful for her.
“I feel the crowd wasn’t much because my husband told me when he performed his own, the crowd was so much and the stress was so much. For this one, there was crowd too, but not like previous ones. So, it was not too stressful for me.”
After the burial of Alhaji Adewale Yakub at Dubai where he died, according to Islamic rites, the wife whom they went on Hajj together has returned to her late husband’s family house in Lagos, Nigeria.
It was gathered that in total, 10 Nigerian pilgrims died during just concluded Hajj.