First batch of Lagos pilgrims arrive in Madinah
June 2, 2023
No fewer than 390 Lagos State intending pilgrims for the 2023 Hajj exercise were on board the first flight which landed safely in Madinah, Saudi Arabia yesterday.
The batch which consists of 173 male and 217 female pilgrims on board a Flynas airline with registration number XY 5678, landed at exactly 9.46am Saudi Arabian time which is equivalent to 11.46am Nigerian time yesterday.
The immediate past Hon. Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi expressed optimism on the good conduct of the pilgrims throughout their stay in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He stated this at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, before the flight that conveyed the pilgrims departed Nigeria at 12.03am yesterday.
Elegushi reiterated that the pilgrims have been given adequate enlightenment on all they needed to know about the exercise during the weekend lectures, adding that they are expected to obey all the laws of Saudi Arabia and be good Ambassadors of the State and Nigeria at large.
Speaking on why the inaugural flight came earlier than the June 4 announced during the One-Day Seminar held at De-Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Ikeja, he stated that the development was a plus for the state because her pilgrims would leave for the pilgrimage exercise earlier than as scheduled.
He commended the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) for the regulatory measures it put in place for this year’s operation. He urged NAHCON to try to be more flexible with the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards in its regulations.
On his part, the Board Chairman, Imam (Engr.) Shakiru Ayinde Gafar appealed to the pilgrims that are yet to be airlifted to exercise patience and show understanding with the Board, saying that every necessary machinery has been put in place for a seamless operation.