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Hajj: Strike won’t affect airlift — NAHCON

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said the strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will not affect the Hajj airlift.…

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said the strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will not affect the Hajj airlift.

A statement by NAHCON’s Assistant Director of Public Affairs, Fatima Sanda Usara, while noting that the strike was causing apprehension among some concerned pilgrims, promised to transport all intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia before 10th of June, 2024.

The statement disclosed that over 37,102 pilgrims had been airlifted to Saudi Arabia, excluding officials and other Hajj industry stakeholders involved in the Hajj operations.

“The Hajj flights have been departing as planned beginning with the initial three flights per day from the day of the inaugural flight. This gradually increased to a maximum of six flights daily. Currently, NAHCON runs a minimum of four flights daily to a maximum of six flights depending on the schedule,” it said.

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It added that about 13,176 pilgrims are yet to be airlifted and this number would have reduced before the end of yesterday.

“A breakdown of the states yet to conclude the airlift shows one more flight each remaining from the following locations: Kaduna, Gombe, Borno, Zamfara, Adamawa, Kebbi, and FCT with 33 pilgrims on ground. All South-South states will be airlifted in one flight with seats remaining. Taraba with a little over 1,000 pilgrims is yet to commence airlift as scheduled while Kwara, Jigawa, Niger and Sokoto are continuing with airlift of their pilgrims steadily on course.

“As approved in the airlift agreement, all carriers deployed the agreed number of aircraft for the exercise. Max Air has provided two operational aircraft with one available as standby,” it said.

Meanwhile, Jigawa State Pilgrims Welfare Board has commenced airlifting of its intended pilgrims to Saudi Arabia despite the nationwide strike.

The first batch of the pilgrims totalling 420 at about 10:59am departed Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi International Airport, Dutse, on Monday.

In his farewell message to intending pilgrims who were conveyed by Max Air, Governor Umar Namadi urged them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria while in Saudi Arabia.

The governor urged the intending pilgrims to strictly abide by the laws and guidelines of both Nigeria and Saudi Arabia during their stay for the Hajj exercise.

Namadi who was together with the Emir of Hadejia, Alh. Adamu Abubakar Maje, who is also the Jigawa State Amirul Hajj, Emir of Dutse, Hameem Nuhu Muhammad and other senior government officials during the inaugural flight requested the intending pilgrims to pray for the people and government of Jigawa State and Nigeria at large.

On his part, the Director General, Jigawa State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Ahmad Umar Labbo, reaffirmed that all necessary arrangements had been concluded for the smooth airlifting of the state intending pilgrims within the time frame given by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

He also assured that the next batches comprising the second and third flights would subsequently be announced in due course.

He urged the remaining intending pilgrims to stay ready as any moment from now, the board may call them to the Hajj camp for screening prior to their departure to the holy land.

Our correspondent reports that at the moment, 420 out of the 1293 intending pilgrims from Jigawa State, were so far airlifted, but the labour union were not present at the airport.

Also yesterday, the strike did not affect Hajj operations and international flights at the Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano.

 

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