Exactly 420 pilgrims participating in this year’s Holy pilgrimage in Makkah and Madinah have departed for Saudi Arabia.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by the Amir-ul-Hajj, Dr. AbdulLateef AbdulHakeem, during the inaugural airlifting exercise at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja while addressing the press.
The pilgrims which comprises of 248 female and 72 male were drawn from Agege Local Government (120); Ajeromi-Ifelodun (119); Alimosho (119); Amuwo-Odofin (18) while18 came from the board.
He said that the 420 pilgrims were the first batch of a total of 2,270 intending pilgrims travelling with the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
While expressing his immeasurable joy that pilgrims from Lagos state were the first to be airlifted among the states in the South West, he stated that the flight which departed the airport at some minutes after 11.00 pm was going straight to Madinah.
This according to him would safe the pilgrims the stress of travelling by road from Jedda to Madinah.
The Amir-ul-Hajj added that Lagos pilgrims would be airlifted back-to-back from Wednesday 10th till July 16 when the exercise is expected to be concluded.
Also speaking, the Chairman Ad-hoc committee for the 2019 Hajj operation, Alh. Ahmed Jebe, commended the board for the success recorded with the inaugural flight.
He assured that the welfare of the pilgrims while in Saudi Arabia especially in the area of accommodation, feeding and health provisions would be paramount to the committee.
The pilgrims departed the airport with Airbus A330 operated by flynas and was expected to land safely in Madinah on Thursday at 7.00 am Saudi Arabian time.
Also present at the Airport to bid the pilgrims farewell include members of the Ad-hoc committee; Board Secretary, Mr. Rahman Ishola; South West Commissioner of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON), Imam Fuad Adeyemi and some staff of the board, among many others.