The first set of intending pilgrims, 542, from Kaduna State have left Kaduna International Airport on Sunday for Saudi Arabia for the 2019 Hajj, the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board of the state has said.
The Public Relations Officer for the board, Yunusa Abdullahi, made the disclosure in a statement on Sunday in Kaduna.
He said the intending pilgrims were from Igabi, Lere, Kauru, Makarfi and Zangon Kataf Local Government Areas of the state, adding that they departed to the holy land on Med View airline.
According to Abdullahi, the number comprises 348 males and 194 females.
The PRO quoted the Governor of the state, Nasir El-Rufai, and his Deputy, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, as having tasked the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state when they addressed the intending pilgrims before their departure.
El-Rufai and Balarabe, he said, also advised them to abide strictly with the rules and regulations of the Saudi Government.
According to him, the second flight is expected to leave on Sunday with intending pilgrims from Giwa and Kaduna South Local Government Area of the state.
Abdullahi said all necessary arrangements had been completed by the board for a successful hajj operation.
These PRO said the arrangements include renovation of Mando Hajj Camp with provision of modern toilet facilities, expansion of mosque, drilling of boreholes and procurement of visa for the intending pilgrims.
“About 3,500 pilgrims are expected to perform the pilgrimage from the State this year,” he said.
A correspondent of the News of Nigeria covering the exercise, who visited the Prophet’s Mosque in Minnah, said the intending pilgrims from the state and other intending pilgrims were seen observing their prayers as part of Hajj rites.
So far, four states: Katsina, Kano, Kaduna and Lagos, have commenced transportation of their intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the exercise.
Hajji is one of the five pillars of Islam made compulsory for Muslims who have adequate resources and good health to perform such such rite.