FG airlifts 80,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia
The Federal Government, on Monday, commenced the airlift of Muslim pilgrims with the inaugural flight to Saudi Arabia from the Sultan Abubakar III Airport, Sokoto.
According to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), about 80,000 pilgrims will be airlifted in the next five weeks through flight operations in 17 airports across the country.
FAAN, in a statement in Abuja, stated that a Director in the Federal Ministry of Transport and Chairman of the Aviation Monitoring Committee, Mr. Adamu Wakil, assured the pilgrims that safety and security infrastructure was given priority in all airports to ensure seamless passenger facilitation during the exercise.
The statement noted that Directors from FAAN, Engr. Olufemi Ogunode and Capt Henry Omeogu led various technical teams to supervise preparations for the exercise.
It said the inaugural flight was preceeded by an airport ceremony attended by the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal and his counterpart from Zamfara, Abubakar Yari.
Other dignitaries at the ceremony include the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alh Saad Abubakar III, as well as a few others who gave goodwill messages.
'Pilgrims from Sokoto and Zamfara states were amongst those that were airlifted on the inaugural flight amidst light showers,' FAAN said.
It stated that the Chairman of National Hajj Commission, Abdullahi Muktar, urged pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the country and shun acts that will bring dishonour to their faith and country.
FAAN reiterated that it would provide security and safety oversight to all airports including state owned airports that are participating in the airlift.