Borno State: First Batch Of 561 Pilgrims Airlifted, Second Batch Of 545 Pilgrims Screened, Ready For Airlift

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri

The first batch of Borno state 2018 intending pilgrims numbering 561 were Sunday early morning Airlifted to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.

The screened 561 pilgrims were airlifted by Max Air early morning Sunday from Maiduguri International Airport to Saudi Arabia to perform their 2018 pilgrimage.

The Borno State Deputy Governor Alhaji Usman Mamman Durkwa who represented Governor Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the exercise, admonishing the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state and country in the holy land during their pilgrimage.

He also appealed to them to be law abiding, dedicate themselves to spiritual supplications and pray for peace, unity and stability in the state and country, particularly, for an end to the boko Haram insurgency.

Meanwhile the Borno State Pilgrims Welfare Board, BSPWB, Executive Secretary, Dr Mustapha Ali, told newsmen that the board had registered 1, 563 pilgrims this year in the state.

He added that the airlift of the 1,568 pilgrims will be in three batches and was expected to be completed within two to three days as arranged.

The Executive Secretary further said that the 561 first batch pilgrims comprised of 500 pilgrims and some Amirul Hajj committee and sub hajj committees members while the second batch of 545 pilgrims were to be Airlifted to Saudi Arabia Sunday night or early morning on Monday as screening has commenced for the second batch.

Alhaji Ali added that the State Government have already provided decent accommodation for all the pilgrims in Makkah and Madinah as well as comfortable transportation for the pilgrims in the Holy land arranged by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

He also said the board had also sensitized the pilgrims on the rites to be performed during the Hajj as well as rules guiding the pilgrims in the the Holy land

Mustapha further noted that the board had deployed its personnel to guide and attend to the needs of the pilgrims with a view to ensuring smooth and hitch free pilgrimage by the Pilgrims including their BTA, Uniforms, Bags, and ram allowances for their sacrifices among others.

The 545 intending pilgrims for the second batch were airlifted finally early morning Monday after the usual screening and it is expected that the third batch will be air lifted later in the night as flight was expected to land at Maiduguri international airport to airlift the third batch later on Monday or early morning Tuesday.