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Hajj: 12,000 pilgrims airlifted back to Nigeria

Katsina's first flight of 560 pilgrims set for Airlift back home
Katsina's first flight of 560 pilgrims set for Airlift back home

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has disclosed that 40 flights have so far transported about 12,000 pilgrims back to Nigeria from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with FlyNas making the most trips.

The commission stated this in a statement yesterday by its Head of Public Affairs Division, Fatima Sanda Usara.

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The statement said Kogi, Oyo Nasarawa and Federal Capital Territory have concluded movement of pilgrims back to Nigeria while Ogun, Lagos were at the verge of concluding.

It said the NAHCON Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the Saudi government, state  Chief Executives of Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards (SPWB), and Nigerian pilgrims, for a successful 2018 Hajj exercise.

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The statement said, “The CEO thanked President Muhammad Buhari for continually supporting NAHCON and paving the way for it to overcome its challenges.

“He commended Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for overseeing a Hajj season devoid of outbreak of any major diseases, mishaps, and called for more prayers for prosperous Hajj seasons.”

The Chairman acknowledged how difficult handling the affairs of millions of people from different sociocultural backgrounds must be, yet the Saudi government goes the extra mile to protect and provide satisfaction to guests of The Merciful Lord.

Barrister Muhammad also complimented SPWBs for their cooperation throughout the 2018 Hajj operation, urging them to continue to join hands with NAHCON and air carriers for the smooth movement of pilgrims back home.

He solicited them to educate pilgrims on the need to comply with luggage regulations to avoid unnecessary delays at screening points in the airports.

The Commission’s chair also commended Nigerian pilgrims to this year’s Hajj for their patience, comportment, most especially their orderliness.

He also acknowledged that most of them remained within the precincts defined for hand luggage, thus, the bane of arriving Jedda Airport with multiple excess luggage was minimal compared to other years.

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