Sokoto – President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday launched the airlifting of Nigerian pilgrims from Sokoto to Saudi Arabia for the 2016 hajj.
The president, represented by Gov. Aminu tambuwal of Sokoto State, restated the commitment of the Federal Government to make Nigeria a better place for all.
“We are fully committed to introducing policies and programmes to better the lives of all Nigerians, including generations yet unborn,’’ Buhari said.
He charged the officials of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to accord priority to the welfare and consular services of the pilgrims.
“The officials should be diligent while the pilgrims should be law abiding.
“They should also be tolerant with each other and be good ambassadors of their respective families, their states and Nigeria in general,’’ the president advised.
Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, who spoke,appealed to the pilgrims to pray fervently for President Buhari, to enable him to successfully steer the ship of state.
Abubakar also urged the pilgrims to prayers for relief from the hardship being faced by Nigerians and for peace and unity to reign in the country.
Gov. Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, commended NAHCON for selecting pilgrims from his state for the inaugural flight.
Yari also called on the pilgrims to protect their integrities, that of Zamfara and the nation at large.
The Chairman of NAHCON, Alhaji Abdullahi Mukhtar, said that no fewer than 65,500 Nigerians would perform the 2016 pilgrimage.
He said that the commission had made adequate arrangements to ensure the security and comfort of the pilgrims both in Nigeria and in Saudi Arabia.
NAN reports that, 500 pilgrims from Bakura and Bukkuyum local governments areas of Zamfara were airlifted to Saudi Arabia in the inaugural flight.
They departed about 3.00 p.m. aboard a Max Airline aircraft, Boeing 747, 400 series.