Lagos Umrah pilgrims depart Nigeria oday
The first batch of intending pilgrims from Lagos State will today depart Nigeria for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform the 2023/1444 A.H. Umrah (lesser hajj) exercise.
The State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi disclosed this during a one-day Seminar organised by the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (LSMPWB) for the intending pilgrims, in Ikeja, Lagos.
Represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Matters, Alhaji Ahmad Abdullahi Jebe, the Commissioner stated that the intending pilgrims would be departing for the lesser hajj in three batches.
According to him, the first batch would depart on Sunday, April 9, the second batch on Monday, April 10, and the third batch would leave on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. He emphasised that the departure dates are in line with the schedule of the foreign airlines that would convey the pilgrims.
The Special Adviser told the intending pilgrims who turned out in large numbers for the seminar to be adequately prepared for the journey, adding that the state government has secured their visas from the Saudi Arabian Embassy, traveling tickets from Qatar and Ethiopian Airlines as well as insurance documents.
He urged those whose Yellow Cards are still valid to take them along while those who don’t have them should endeavour to procure theirs without further delay, saying the yellow card, which usually has a validity period of 10 years, is very important for international travelers.
While encouraging them to be patient with the officials during the exercise, Elegushi informed them that adequate arrangements had been made for their accommodation and transportation.
He said that green, blue, and purple cards have been produced to differentiate and categorise the hotels, they would stay in the Kingdom based on the package paid for.
He, however, advised them to abide by the arrangement to achieve a smooth operation.
Chairman of the Board (Imam) Shakiru Ayinde Gafar, wished the pilgrims a safe journey and urged them to be good ambassadors of the state while in the Holy Land.
He also encouraged them to pray for the success of the administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat; President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as well as Nigeria in general.