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Hajj: Lagos pilgrims begin return journey

Another 310 Lagos pilgrims will be airlifted back to Nigeria from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on board Medview Airline Airbus 777 aircraft after completing their hajj rites.

This was disclosed on Wednesday by the Executive Secretary of Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board, Mr. Abdul Rahaman Ishola, while briefing newsmen in Makkah, a statement from the board has said.

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Ishola explained that the 310 pilgrims across four Local Governments namely – Alimosho, Apapa, Amuwo Odofin Ojo/Badagry – will be transported to King Abdul Azeez International Airport Jedda for airlift back home this evening.

The first batch of the pilgrims had arrived earlier today with 312 pilgrims and one official. The plane landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos at around 6:45 am.

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The early return of the pilgrims is in fulfilment of the promise by the state through the Amiru-l- Hajj and Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdullateef Abdul-Hakeem that pilgrims would spend less than one month in the holy land compared to previous year when some pilgrims spent 42 days.

The inaugural airlift of Lagos pilgrims to Madinah was carried out on August 2 indicating that the pilgrims spent barely three weeks in Hajj.

As the return journeys continue, the Executive Secretary said arrangement is in top gear for the third and fourth flights before the airline moves to other states before resuming airlifting of Lagos pilgrims again.

He advised pilgrims to adhere to the 32Kg and 8Kg baggage allowance approved by the carrier and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

Ishola cautioned the pilgrims not to engage in excessive buying of goods as the stakeholders will seize any extra good in excess of the approved Kilograms.

He thanked Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for showing interest in hajj operation in Lagos State and for providing the necessary logistics to make the operations a smooth and successful one.

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