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Hajj 2019: Return of Nigerian pilgrims begins today, says NAHCON

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The first batch of Nigerian pilgrims who performed the 2019 Hajj exercise will be airlifted back home today, Saturday, August 17 after a successful Hajj operation.The return flight into the country will commence with pilgrims from Lagos and Katsina states via the Jeddah International Airport.

The Acting Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Abdullahi Muhammad, disclosed this at the post Arafat stakeholders’ meeting held yesterday in Makkah.

Muhammad commended the efforts of all stakeholders who contributed in ensuring the success of the just concluded Hajj.Muhammad particularly expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, retired Justice Isa Dodo; the Nigerian Consul-General and members of staff of the embassy, for their support, cooperation, assistance and guidance.

The NAHCON chairman, who reviewed the three days Mashaa’air activities in Muna, Arafat and Muzdalifah, decried the manner pilgrims of other countries trespassed into Nigerian tents recklessly and unchecked.He also lamented the congestion in some tents in Muna, but promised that measures would be taken to improve the accommodation.He, however, lauded the Saudi Arabian government for their professional handling of the exercise.

He extolled the establishment of Mutawwifs for Pilgrims from African and Non-Arab Countries, popularly referred to as Mu’assasah, for the excellent arrangement in Muna and Arafat that helped to enhance the comfort of Nigerian Pilgrims in the tents, especially with the provision of air conditioning units at no extra cost.

The NAHCON boss, who disclosed that Nigeria lost 10 pilgrims during the exercise, condoled with the families, pilgrims, boards and governments of the affected states, and prayed for the repose of their souls.On the pilgrims’ return, he said everything had been put in place to ensure the success of the exercise, but warned that there could be impromptu changes in scheduled flights due to heavy rains being experienced in some parts of Nigeria.

On his part, the Nigeria ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Justice Muhammadu Isa Dodo (rtd) described the 2019 hajj as very successful.He urged NAHCON to consolidate on the successes recorded in this Hajj, while advising all stakeholders to continue to dedicate themselves to the services of the pilgrims.

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Abdullahi MuhammadNAHCON
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