A week after the commencement of 2016 Hajj airlift in Nigeria, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has announced the airlift of about 20,000 Nigerian pilgrims to the Holy Land.
The Commission on Sunday said already, the first batch of Zamfara state contingents are preparing to leave Medina for Makkah.
An official of the Commission, Adamu Abdullahi, informed PREMIUM TIMES that airlift of pilgrims from the various departure centres “is progressing steadily with records of little hitches”.
Mr. Abdullahi said the first batch of Zamfara pilgrims whose flight was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in Sokoto on August 8, “would leave Medina for Makkah after staying the prescribed eight day in the second holiest city”
He said with the steady progress made so far, coupled with the number of aircraft made available for the operation by the airlines, the airlift of pilgrims may be completed before the closure of Saudi Arabia airspace.
“Ilorin Zone which comprises Kwara, Ondo and Ekiti states with a population of over 2000 pilgrims is expected to conclude its operation early morning on Monday with the airlift of remaining 454 pilgrims and officials made up of Ekiti 178 , Kwara 258 and Ondo 18,” he said.
The Chairman of NAHCON, Abdullahi Mukhtar, had promised during the flag off ceremony in Sokoto last Monday to ensure the completion of hajj airlift before the September 4 deadline set by the Saudi General Authority on Civil Aviation, GACA.