Hajj Airlift: Cso Urges For Improved Security Across Airports, Hajj Camps

By Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR)

As the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) gets set to begin the transportation of Nigerian intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia on the 25th of May 2023, Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a Media Related Civil Society Organisation (CSO) that monitors and reports on Hajj and Umrah activities have called on agencies responsible for security across all departure centres to be up and doing to ensure the safe airlift of the pilgrims.

IHR in a statement on Thursday, signed by its National Coordinator, Ibrahim Mohammed said the call became necessary due to what was experienced during last year’s Hajj operation.

“Nigerians may recall that pilgrims from Niger State had to be ferried to Abuja because of security challenges in Mina and inadequate security around Minna Airport.

“Also, Kaduna bound aircraft had to be diverted to Kano due to security concerns while a convoy of vehicles conveying intending pilgrims in Sokoto state was attacked by suspected bandits leading to the death of a security agent,” IHR said.

The CSO also said preparations for this year’s airlift is already being challenged by the Sudanese Conflict and urged authorities to ensure that adequate security personnel are deployed to all departure centres.

The statement advised all State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards and Agencies to borrow a cue from NAHCON by coming up with a standing committee on security with a mandate to ensure full protection of all intending pilgrims and facilities being used for transit.

“Various security outfits exist across all the states and local government and it is our belief that it will not take too much to select capable hands to work 24/7 until all pilgrims are airlifted. The same scenario should be replicated during return journeys. No resources or efforts put to ensure adequate security is too much,” IHR said.

18TH MAY, 2023