Flying of Pilgrims back to Nigeria begins on Thursday

…Death toll rises to 14

Arrangements are in top gear to begin the airlift of some Nigerian Pilgrims, from Muhammad Bn Abdulaziz Airport in Madina to their various destinations, with Gombe State pilgrims expected to return this Thursday.

Addressing journalists Tuesday, the Chairman National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Barrister Abdullah Muhammad Mukhtar, said if the preparations for the airlift of Nigerian pilgrims back home falls through the Saudi Airline, FLYNAS, would operate from the Madina Airport.

The chairman said the entire exercise of the return journey is expected to be concluded on or before the October the fifth, barring all unforseen and unavoidable hiccups.

He commended the role of journalists’ information dissemination, enquiries and enlightenment on the concluded Hajj rites, calling on them not to relent during the last lap of the exercise which has already commenced.

Explaining further the return journey, the Commissioner Operations of the Commission, Alhaji Abdullah Saleh Modibbo said all the three air carriers have been notified about their flights schedules.

He stated that FLYNAS is to conclude its airlift between seventh of September and second of October, MedView between tenth and twenty fifth of this month, while Max Air is between ninth of September and fifth of October.

The Commissioner said the Commission had done everything humanly possible to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

In his remarks, the Finance and Administration Commissioner, Alhaji Adebayo who said already weighing of pilgrims luggage has began in earnest, assured that pilgrims feeding and transportation would continue until all pilgrims are reunited with their families.

In a related development, so far about 14 pilgrims including a NAHCON staff have died during this year’s Hajj.

The staff (names withheld),  traveled for the Hajj in company of his wife, died on Monday evening after complaining of a slight headache.

Credit, The Nation.

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