The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has so far transported 34,002 pilgrims back home in 70 flights from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia after successful completion of their 2019 hajj exercise.
According to its command and control centre in Makkah monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja, the latest returnees were 555 pilgrims from Adamawa State and two officials of NAHCON aboard Max Airline NGL 2084.
NAN reports that the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah affairs and NAHCON have coordinated efforts and evacuated over 800 pilgrims stranded to Makkah by Skypower airline, a private tour operator, from the King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah.
The private pilgrims stormed NAHCON office in Makkah and submitted a petition against their service providers and the airline that was supposed to ferry them back home after the completion of Hajj rites.
Alhaji Zaharadden Usman alleged that they were promised in their contractual packages with the various private travel agencies that their maximum days of stay in Saudi Arabia will be 16.
The hundreds of stranded Nigerian pilgrims who travelled to Saudi Arabia through private tour operators have returned to the country after spending more than 30 days instead of the agreed 16 days.
After submitting the petition, the Chairman of NAHCON, Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed, mandated the Commissioner of Operations and other management staff to go to the residence of the aggrieved pilgrims in Mansoor Street and address their concerns.
The private pilgrims, who arrived Malam Aminu Kano International Airport in the early hours of Thursday, called on the Federal Government and other relevant agencies to investigate and punish the airline, Sky Power, for breach of contract and subjecting them to emotional trauma.
The NAHCON Commissioner of Operations had earlier said the commission will investigate the incident and appropriately sanction whoever is found culpable.