The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support to the activities of the commission and paving the way for it to conduct successful Hajj operations.
The Head of Public Affairs Division of the commission, Fatima Sanda, in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja, said the Chairman of the commission, Abdullahi Muhammadm, made the commendation during a meeting with the Chairmen of State Pilgrims Boards in Makkah.
Muhammad also lauded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for overseeing the Hajj season devoid of outbreak of any major diseases and mishaps, and called for more prayers for more prosperous Hajj seasons.
He acknowledged how difficult handling the affairs of millions of people from different socio-cultural backgrounds could be, yet, he said, the Saudi Authorities, went “extra mile to protect and provide satisfaction to guests of Allah”.
Similarly, the chairman also expressed appreciation to all the Chairmen of State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, Nigerian pilgrims, and all relevant Agencies and stakeholders for ensuring a successful 2018 Hajj operation.
He urged them to continue to join hands with NAHCON and air carriers for the smooth movement of pilgrims back to Nigeria.
He also advised them to educate pilgrims on the need to comply with luggage regulations to avoid unnecessary delays at screening points at the airport.
Muhammad praised Nigerian pilgrims for their patience, comportment, especially their orderliness before, during and after the Hajj rites.
He said that most of the Nigerian pilgrims remained within the precincts defined for hand luggage, thus, the bane of arriving Jedda Airport with multiple excess luggage was minimal compared to other years.
He promised that all the pilgrims would be transported back to Nigeria within the shortest time possible, adding that 40 flights had so far been transported – about 12,000 pilgrims back to Nigeria with FlyNas making the most trips.
He said: “So far, Kogi, Oyo, Nasarawa State and the Federal Capital Territory have concluded movement of pilgrims back to Nigeria, while Ogun, Lagos are at the verge of concluding.”
Meanwhile, three groups comprising staff of NAHCON and State Pilgrims Boards have been created to begin preparations for 2019 Hajj, vis-a-vis arrangements for accommodation and other matters in Makkah and Madinah.