The airlift of all registered Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj rites this year was successfully completed, according to Alhaji Zilkrallah Kunle Hassan, chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON). He stated that on Tuesday, the culmination of the spiritual journey, over 95,000 Nigerians who had been taken to the Kingdom, will be at the Arafat.
At the pre-Arafat meeting in Makkah, Hassan assured participants that the operation this year will be remembered as the most successful Hajj ever experienced in Nigeria.
He said that the commission deployed all of its resources, with board members physically present at several departure points to actively take part in monitoring the airlift operations and report the so far achieved results.
Every Hajj exercise, according to him, is an experiment in which any new issues are resolved and evaluated in an effort to avoid recurrence.
Hassan informed conference attendees that the commission had taken proactive measures by agreeing to five rescue flights in case there had been a snag that could have jeopardized the anticipated completion date. He added that the flights had been canceled later after the successful conclusion of outbound operations.
He commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima, and Nigerian envoys in Saudi Arabia for their leadership, cooperation, understanding, and support, noting that it would have been challenging to transport all 95,000 eligible Nigerian pilgrims to the Kingdom without their help.
Hassan also commended the executive chairmen of the boards, agencies, and commissions overseeing the care of pilgrims in the 36 states and the FCT for their assistance in guaranteeing the safe transportation of all Nigerians who qualified to travel to Saudi Arabia for the trip.
He also congratulated the Association of Umrah and Hajj Tour Operators of Nigeria for working nonstop to make the first stage of the 2023 Hajj operation a success.