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Buhari flags off 2015 pilgrims airlift

By Garba Ahmed, Kaduna on 23/08/2015

Views: 3,071

President Muhammadu Buhari has flagged off the 2015 airlift of Muslim pilgrims in Kaduna State.

Speaking during the inaugural flight at the Kaduna International Airport, Kaduna, Buhari congratulated Kaduna for being chosen as the inaugural state to lift pilgrims this year. He said this year’s Hajj exercise will be the best in the history of Nigeria.

The President restated that the Federal Government is committed to reducing the cost of Hajj operations and involvement of government in the exercise.

His words: “Our country is going through very challenging times and we will need all the prayers we can have and the best place to do that for the Muslim Umma is in Saudi Arabia.

“I agree with the views of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs that, Hajj if properly organised should add value to the Nigerian economy rather than take from it.

“Accordingly, I approved the constitution of a very thorough and effective central coordinating team of Muslim leaders to oversee the Hajj operation this year.”

The leader of this team is none other than the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II as the leader of the central coordinating team. Other members are the Emir of Songa, Dr Hamir Yahaya, Dr Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, Alh Zakariya’u Babalola and others.

Buhari, who was represented by Kaduna governor Nasir El-Rufai added that, consistent with the government’s decision that, Hajj operations should not be funded by the Federal Government, the expenses of this central coordinating team will be part of the pilgrims contribution to their service charge to NAHCOM.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman/CEO NAHCOM, Barr Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammed, said part of the airlift exercise.

He said six airline will airlift 66,000 pilgrims out of Nigeria to KSA and that a total of 13 aircrafts will be deployed for the airlift up to the period of the closure of the Jidda airports which is likely to be on September 17.

He said pilgrims need not to purchase Zamzam as NAHCOM has arranged five liters for each pilgrims.

The chairman disclosed: “NAHCOM Closed down the Jidda office and moved to Mecca and we will have another office in Medina to ensure close monitoring of the pilgrims at KSA.

“NAHCOM will implement the principles of first in first out policy as enshrined under the leadership of his Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, long ago.

“Arafat likely to be on the 22nd of September and that Jidda Airport is likely to close on the 17th of September and the first flight into Nigeria will be on 27th of October.”

Mohammed pleaded for the support, prayers and blessing of the traditional rulers for the success of the Hajj exercise.

“Hajj is such an important exercise that cannot be organised, cannot be delivered and implemented by one person or one agency. It needs the involvement of all stakeholders,” he added.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alh Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, called on the intending pilgrims to abide by the rules and regulations in the Holy land and warned that whoever violates their rules will face the wrath of the law.

He said: “This is the first inaugural flight of pilgrims from Kaduna state and I urged state governments to continue to give maximum support and assistance to all the pilgrims from their states.

“Pilgrims must be God fearing and do everything because of God as we pray for your safe trip to KSA and return to Nigeria safely.”

The National  Amirul Hajj and Emir of Kano, Alh Mohammed Sanusi II, called on pilgrims on the importance of abiding by the rules and obligations of Hajj exercise, prayers for peace and development of Nigeria a and the teaching of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) while at the holy land.

He called on them to shun any vices in the Holy land. He prayed to God to grant pilgrims akan sunnan manzon Allah (SWA).

•Photo shows President Buhari.

Source News Express

Posted 23/08/2015 6:54:39 PM





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