Borno Hajj Committee Seeks Re-opening Of Maiduguri Airport
BEVERLY HILLS, October 06, (THEWILL) - The Borno State Hajj Committee has called on the Federal Government to re-open the Maiduguri International Airport with immediate effect to enable over 4,000 pilgrims from the state currently on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia to return directly through Maiduguri, the state capital.
The airport has been shut down for about a year as no commercial flights was allowed. The closure followed an attack on the airport by Boko Haram insurgents thus forcing the over 4,000 pilgrims from both Yobe and Borno States, which should have been airlifted through Maiduguri, to travel all the way to Dutse and Kano to catch their flight to Saudi Arabia.
The Secretary of the State Hajj Committee, Alhaji Adamu Timta, who made the call Monday in Maiduguri, said the closure of the airport has caused the pilgrims untold hardship while it has also increased the burden faced by the state government which had to put in place other measures to ensure the airlift of the pilgrims from both Kano and Dutse.
While lamenting the risk involved in taking the pilgrims from Maiduguri to other states for the airlifting, Timta argued that if the airport is re-opened, other socio- economic activities that would greatly help in boosting the potentials of the state would be encouraged.
“Transporting 2,645 people from Maiduguri to Dutse and Kano is not an easy task even if you are using an aircraft. These means we are going back to 1960′s were we airlift our pilgrims from Kano which is a big set back. “We had to pray very hard for fear of attack, especially on our highways between Maiduguri to Damaturu.
'We also ensure proper arrangement with relevant security agencies to enable for hitch-free movement of our pilgrims,” Timta further stated.