NAHCON completes airlift of Nigerian pilgrims

The Nigerian Hajj Commission (NAHCON) has completed the airlift of all intending pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj.

NAHCON Assistant Director of Public Affairs, Fatima Usara, who said this in a statement, said the last flight combined about 211 remaining pilgrims from Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Bauchi, FCT and Niger States.

A total of 65,000 Nigerian pilgrims are expected to perform the 2024 Hajj.

The Saudi authorities had set 10 June as the deadline for the arrival of all pilgrims at the kingdom’s airports.

“This flight marks the end of the year’s Hajj outbound airlift to Makkah for state quota pilgrims. However, Aero Contractors will end its airlift of Private Tour Operators pilgrims by 2 p.m. afternoon of Monday, 10th June 2024.

“All other Private Tour Operators are expected to conclude the conveyance of their pilgrims before the closure of Jeddah and Madinah airports for all inbound Hajj airlift operations,” she said.

Hajj worship is set to commence on Friday when pilgrims will move from Mecca to Mina in preparation for the pivotal day of Arafat, marking the beginning of the Hajj.

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Return journey after Hajj

Mrs Usara said the return journey for the 2024 Hajj is slated to commence on 22 June based on a first-in-first-out basis.

She also said that slots for the return journey have been secured by all airlines.

Arabi lists the successes of the commission

Meanwhile, NAHCON Chairman Jalal Arabi has also listed some achievements recorded by the commission since the exercise started.

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He said the commission successfully airlifted all Nigerian pilgrims 72 hours before the deadline set by the Saudi authorities for all pilgrims to arrive in the kingdom.

He also said the commission achieved complete movement of pilgrims to Madinah pre-Arafat.

“The commission has successfully transported all pilgrims 72 hours before the official Saudi deadline.

“In the same vein, the commission also achieved 100 per cent movement of pilgrims to Madinah pre-Arafat,” Mr Arabi said.

The chairman commended President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima for the critical support they offered to ensure a successful hajj operation and promised that the commission would reciprocate by ensuring a smooth exercise.

He commended the media for their dogged reportage of the exercise.

READ ALSO: 2024 Hajj: NAHCON receives essential drugs for Nigerian pilgrims

Mr Arabi restated NAHCON’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of Nigerian pilgrims.

According to the Saudi authorities, more than 1.5 million pilgrims from all over the world have arrived in the country for the exercise.

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