Cross-section of female intending pilgrims seated in the aircraft. Photo: Dauda Iliya
The Inaugural flight of Nigerian pilgrims has taken off from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, to Saudi Arabia for the 2022 hajj.
A report by the National Hajj Commission said The flight was the first, conveying more than 500 Pilgrims to the holy land.
“This is the first flight that conveys over 500 pilgrims including some officials of the National Hajj commission as well as the state Pilgrims Welfare Boards,” the hajj commission report said.
According to the report, Officials are already on the ground in both Madina and Jiddah to receive the pilgrims.
Inauguration of 2022 Hajj Operation
President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the airlift of 43,000 intending pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 2022 Hajj exercise.
Launching the inaugural flight of five 546 pilgrims at Maiduguri International Airport, the President informed the pilgrims that all the needed funds have been released to ensure a hitch-free exercise.
For the first time in three years, the hajj operation in Saudi Arabia resumed after it was suspended due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
This is also the second time in ten years, that Maiduguri is hosting an inaugural flight for the Hajj exercise to the holy land.
Inaugurating the Hajj operation at Maiduguri International Airport, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed gratitude to Almighty Allah for witnessing the commencement of Hajj activities in the county.
Represented by Borno state Governor, Babagana Zulum, the President said the airlift from Maiduguri signifies that peace has returned to the state and the entire North East region.
“I, therefore, wish to call on the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and all critical stakeholders in hajj operations across the country to step up to their responsibility and ensure the success of the 2022 hajj operation,” President Buhari said.
President Buhari remarked that funds have been released for the provision of befitting accommodation in the two holy cities of Macca and Madina.
He urged the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the country and abide by the rules and regulations of the host country as well as adhere to Covid-19 protocols.
Borno state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Kadafur said three flights have been scheduled for the airlift of over 1300 intending pilgrims from the state.
Chairman National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan remarked that the Commission has made adequate arrangements for the comfort of 43,000 pilgrims.
The Chairman implored the pilgrims to pray for sustainable peace and for a successful transition to the next administration.
Reporting by Dauda Iliya, Abdullahi Lamino; Editing by Tony Okerafor