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Pilgrims excited over news of early return to Nigeria; airlift begins on Saturday - PREMIUM TIMES

JUNE 20, 2024

NAHCON Chairman Jalal Arabi visited the pilgrims' tents in Muna on Tuesday, during which he broke the news of their early return to Nigeria.

By Mohammed Lere

Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia have expressed joy after receiving the news of an early return from the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Jalal Arabi.

Mr Arabi visited the pilgrims’ tents in Muna on Tuesday, during which he broke the news of their early return to Nigeria.

The visit followed the final Jumsrat stoning ritual.

Mr Arabi told the pilgrims that their return journey would commence immediately.

” I came here to congratulate all of us for a successful Hajj and also to thank you for the cooperation we got from everyone.

” Rest assured, NAHCON’s preparations are already underway, and we are committed to ensuring that all pilgrims return home safely and expeditiously.

” Our team is working diligently to facilitate a seamless and efficient return journey for everyone,” he said.

Immediately after the visit, PREMIUM TIMES caught up with some pilgrims who were beaming with smiles and unable to contain their joy and excitement upon receiving the news.

” The joy of every pilgrim is for him to return home immediately after Hajj. This news is a very good news for pilgrims. For me, I can’t wait to be home,” said Abdulwasiu Olarenwaju from Lagos State.

Abdulkareem Mohammad from Kano State said, ” I want to go home; that is what is in my mind now. Hearing this information from the horse’s mouth it makes me feel good.

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Murjanatu Garba, from Kaduna State, said, “Mr Arabi had done so well in this Hajj, from feeding to accommodations to health. We must all commend him for a good job.

” If you can remember, he has broken the record of completing the airlifting of pilgrims from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia 72 hours before the Saudi government’s deadline. He can do it, and I know he will do it.”

Mohammed Ibn Mohammad, a pilgrim from Abuja, enthusiastically shared with PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Arabi has unequivocally demonstrated a new era of successful and prosperous Hajj operations in Nigeria, surpassing all expectations and setting a high standard for future endeavours.

” If you come to Hajj this year from Nigeria, you will not regret it, and surely you will miss it when you return because what Arabi did cannot be measured. This is his first Hajj, and look at what he did.

” In Muna, food, fruit, juice, water, and snacks were in abundance. We really enjoyed ourselves. We thank Allah for bringing Arabi on board,” Mr Mohammed said.

Meanwhile, in a post-Arafat meeting with stakeholders on Wednesday in Mecca, the Committee on Aviation led by Goni Sanda said that the airlift of pilgrims back to Nigeria would commence on 22 June.

” Three flights will leave Jedda with Abuja, Nasarawa and Kebbi pilgrims on that day,” he said.


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