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Hajj: Pilgrims cautioned against travelling with contraband as Nigeria begins airlift

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar, and the vice president, Senator Kashim Shetima, have warned pilgrims departing Kebbi State via the Sir Ahmadu…

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar, and the vice president, Senator Kashim Shetima, have warned pilgrims departing Kebbi State via the Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport, Birnin Kebbi, bound for Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj, to adhere strictly to guidelines provided by the Saudi authorities.

Addressing the first batch of pilgrims as they embarked on their journey to the holy land, the Sultan emphasised that this marked Kebbi’s inaugural flight for the Hajj operation, underscoring the importance for pilgrims to remain focused on their Hajj obligations while in Mecca.

A total of 423 pilgrims hailing from two local government areas, Jega and Arewa, departed the state at the Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport for the holy land on the inaugural flight.

“I urge you all to maintain focus, steer clear of any banned items during your time in the holy land, and represent Kebbi and Nigeria admirably,” the Sultan said.

Likewise, the vice president highlighted the spiritual significance of Hajj as an opportunity for believers to seek forgiveness for their sins.

He assured pilgrims that the presidency was fully aware of the prohibitions set in place by Saudi authorities for the safety of pilgrims and urged strict adherence to them.

Governor Nasir Idris expressed satisfaction that his administration had fulfilled all requirements to meet the standards set by NAHCON for the Hajj operation.

He particularly lauded the commencement of the first airlift of pilgrims for the 2024 Hajj at the Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport in Birnin Kebbi, the capital of Kebbi State.

Kano commences vaccination for prospective pilgrims

The Kano State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has started the medical screening and vaccination process for prospective pilgrims for the 2024 Hajj.

Alhaji Laminu Danbappa, the director general of the board, revealed this development to Daily Trust on Tuesday.

Danbappa, while supervising the process at Sheikh Muhammad Jidda General Hospital and the Hajj Camp clinic, explained that the screening aims to assess the health status of each pilgrim, aligning with the requirements for international travel and directives from the Saudi Arabian government.

Don’t compromise pilgrims’ welfare, Makinde tells officials

Meanwhile, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has urged the state’s Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board not to compromise the welfare of the 1070 pilgrims from Oyo while in Saudi Arabia.

He stated this yesterday during a ceremony for the state’s first batch of intending pilgrims who are scheduled to depart for Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Makinde also encouraged the pilgrims to represent the state well as ambassadors in the holy land.

S/Arabia launches guides in Hausa, 15 other languages

In another development, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has launched comprehensive guides in 16 languages, including Hausa, aimed at assisting pilgrims from around the world during the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage.

The guides provide easy-to-follow information covering all stages of the Hajj rituals, supporting the ministry’s efforts for the 2024 Hajj season.

“The guides address common questions from pilgrims in over 16 widely spoken languages, including Arabic, English, French, Urdu, Bengali, Indonesian, Hausa, Amharic, Persian, Spanish, Turkish, Russian, Sinhalese, Uzbek and Malaysian,” the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

From Ismail Adebayo (Birnin Kebbi), Faruk Shuaibu (Abuja), Lubabatu Garba (Kano) & Kaffi Adenike (Ibadan)