30th September, 2011
The airlifting of about 99, 000 Nigerian Pilgrims billed for the Holy land, Saudi Arabia for this yearâ€™s Hajj would commence in the early hours of Sunday in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Lagos State simultaneously.
The airlifting of the intending pilgrims will be carried out in batches with pilgrims from Lagos and Abuja going first, says the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON.
Lagos state, for the first time would be flying its intending pilgrims out of the Lagos Zone to Saudi Arabia on Sunday at the Hajj camp wing of the Muritala Muhammad International airport, says the Chairman, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Abdul Hakeem Abdul-Lateef
â€œItâ€™s a welcome development and good for Hajj operations in the state,â€ adds Abdul-Lateef, saying that the NAHCON, Lagos Zone, comprises Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, and Edo States.
At least, 4, 000 pilgrims from Lagos, the largest in the country, are making the trip to Saudi Arabia with some government officials accompanying them for the trip in order to make it comfortable for the pilgrims, Abdulhakeem disclosed.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the 2011 Hajj official airline, Med-view Airlines, Alhaji Muneer says the airline was ready to airlift the 99, 000 Nigerian pilgrims to the Holy land to perform the hajj operation.
He discloses that over 800 pilgrims from 18 states across the federation, including members of the Armed forces were to be airlifted on daily basis.
â€œThe first sets of the intending pilgrims would be airlifted on the night of 1 October both in Abuja and immediately followed by pilgrims from Lagos on the same night. Med-view is to airlift pilgrims from 18 states in the federation, including intending members of the Armed forces. We are to airlift from Abuja, South-West, South-East, South-South, North East and North-Central for 20 days effectively,â€ he revealed.