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Hajj 2019: NAHCON commence airlift of 65,000 Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia

…We’ll not tolerate laxity, high handedness from any officials – Buhari warns 

KATSINA – The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON has on Wednesday commenced airlift of over 65,000 intending Nigerian pilgrims to the Holy land, Saudi Arabia to perform the 2019 hajj exercise.

Muslim Pilgrims, Hajj, narcotics
•Nigerian Pilgrims

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This was coming as President Muhammadu Buhari warned officials of the umbrella body, NAHCON saddled with responsibility to oversee the affairs of the pilgrims, that his administration will not tolerate laxity and high handedness from any official responsible for the welfare and well being of the Nigerian pilgrims.

Speaking during the inaugural airlift of 520 intending pilgrims from Katsina State at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Airport, President Buhari represented by the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari called on the officials to ensure the intending pilgrims are well taken care of in the Holy land.

To the intending pilgrims, the President however urged them to pray fervently for the nation saying “Nigeria needs your prayers now more than ever.

“As we focus on rebuilding our dear country, Nigeria, the Hajj presents us a unique opportunity for self reflection, brotherhood and tolerance, all in a view to foster unity and diversity as encapsulated in the spirit of the Hajj rites.

“I therefore employ you to make just use of the Hajj experience and improve your relationship with your creator and discharge your duties to your country as responsible citizens.

“Similarly, I called on NAHCON therefore to ensure that Nigerian pilgrims are well taken care of in Saudi Arabia.

“This administration will not tolerate laxity and high handedness from any official responsible for the welfare and well being of Nigerian pilgrims.

“Government on it part will continue to discharge it’s responsibility of providing counsellors, security, medical and other necessary support to Nigerian pilgrims.

“I have directed the National Hajj Commission, our Foreign missions in Saudi Arabia and all government agencies to work hand in hand to see to the welfare of the Nigerian pilgrims,” President Buhari said.

Earlier, the NAHCON Chairman, Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar assured the President that they would not let him down as it would ensure that the intending pilgrims gets the best and nothing but the best.

Bar. Mukhtar appealed to the intending pilgrims to avoid carrying goods that are prohibited by the Saudi Arabia authorities and comply with all laid down rules and regulations especially on matters such as crowd control, security, safety, medical to ensure that all pilgrims perform their hajj exercise with ease.

He told the Saudi Arabia authorities that the intending pilgrims are 100% WHO medical fit to perform the Hajj exercise assuring that it would also comply to other routines that would conducted in the Holy land.

He also commended the Katsina State Pilgrims Welfare Board for displaying competence and capability in the management of hajj, and high level of transparency in the distribution of Basic Transport Allowance, BTA to the intending pilgrims.

The Emir of Katsina, Dr. Abdulmumini Kabir Usman appealed to the intending pilgrims to abide and comply with the Saudi Arabia laws banning traveling with narcotics drug saying they do should not do anything that will tarnish the image of the country.

Meanwhile, with the inaugural flight makes it the second in the history of Katsina State, 2007 and 2019.

It was gathered that intending pilgrims from Lagos State were warming up to take off later in the day.


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