Niger State airlifted its first set of pilgrims on Monday.
After boarding the plane for their trip to Saudi Arabia from Minna, on Sunday, 38 women were asked to come down from the plane.
The women, who were supposed to travel to Saudi Arabia, for Hajj, from Niger State were dropped from as the state’s first batch of pilgrims departed from the Minna International Airport.
The pilgrims were dropped due to the late arrival of their male guardians (Mahrams), for the flight.
The affected female pilgrims, who hail from Mashegu Local Government Area of the state, had boarded the Max Airliner, when it was discovered that their male companions were not around for the flight.
Officials of the Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Commission, led by its chairman, Mamman Mohammad, asked the affected pilgrims to disembark from the aircraft and await their male companions to arrive.
Mr. Mohammad told newsmen that the commission decided to ask the pilgrims to drop and await the arrival of their companions in order to avoid the ordeal of being detained and repatriated from Saudi Arabia for the same problem.
He assured the affected pilgrims that they would be transported to Saudi Arabia in the second flight, scheduled for the same day.
“We are sure that their Mahram will be on hand for that flight,” he said.
He said the commission is working hard to ensure the transportation of all its pilgrims to Saudi Arabia despite the late start of the flights, owing to the stoppage ordered by National Hajj Commission of Nigeria last Wednesday.
The Governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu, also assured the affected pilgrims that they would be transported to the Holy Land, after the commission had completed its arrangement for the second flight expected later in the night.
He also urged the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state by exhibiting good behaviour and obeying the laws of the Saudi authorities.
Mr. Aliyu also enjoined them to pray for peace and stability in Nigeria.