Five of the 81,200 Nigerian pilgrims to this year’s hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, have reportedly died.

The Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Abdullahi Mohammed, announced the passage of four the pilgrims on Tuesday in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.

Mohammed, who spoke at the 2017 pre-Arafat meeting with pilgrims, declined to disclosed the identities of those who died as well as the circumstances that led to their death.

He said such information could only be disclosed after their families had been appropriately informed.

The NAHCON chair pleaded with the media to withhold the details so as not to further devastate the families of the affected pilgrims.

Shortly after the chairman spoke, an official on the medical team of  NAHCON announced the passage of another pilgrim from Kwara state.

The Nigerian delegation has converged on Makkah after some of them visited and prayed at the Prophet Mohammed’s mosque in Madinah.

A few other pilgrims came directly to Makkah after flying into Saudi Arabia through the nearby city of Jeddah.

On Wednesday, the pilgrims, like their counterparts from other parts of the world, will move to the city of Mina.

The pilgrims will then proceed to Arafat on Thursday praising Allah and reciting the Qur’an.