The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has airlifted 25,317 Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia with 60 flights in 11 days, averaging five flights per day.
This includes 475 pilgrims from Adamawa State that left Yola for Madinah aboard Aero Contractors late on Sunday.
This is coming as the Bauchi State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board on Sunday warned intending pilgrims and their relatives against coming to the Board secretariat in Bauchi uninvited.
This warning was contained in a statement signed by the Bauchi State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board Information Officer, Muhammad Sani Yunusa.
According to Yunusa: “As the airlift of Bauchi State Muslim intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia continues, the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board says only pilgrims that were invited by the board are allowed in the premises of the Board.”
When he addressed a press conference at Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar Hajj Transit Camp, Bauchi, the Executive Secretary of the Board, Imam Abdurrahman Ibrahim Idris, expressed concern “with the way some intending pilgrims along with their family members troop to the board secretariat on daily basis to check their names in the list of pilgrims to be airlifted.
“Apart from interfering with the services being rendered to the pilgrims by staff of the board, the presence of uninvited people in the board office makes it difficult for the staff to operate.”
The Executive Secretary, according to Yunusa, said any intending pilgrims that is not satisfied with the board’s services should ask for a refund of his deposit.
The statement stated further that Idris pleaded with the intending pilgrims that were not invited by the board to exercise patience, “assuring that they are doing their utmost best to secure visas to all those who deposited their full hajj fare with the board”.
It would be recalled that the Chairman of the NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, during inaugural flight ceremony in Abuja assured that all registered intending pilgrims would be airlifted to Saudi Arabia to perform this year’s hajj.
Hassan said necessary arrangements, including backup measures, were in place to ensure hitch free airlift operations.