The National Hajj Commission has stated that in 73 flights, it has transported 29, 128 pilgrims to Makkah while the over 3000 intending pilgrims will be airlifted on or before midnight today.
The core hajj rites begin tomorrow, Thursday July 8, 2022 with the movement of pilgrims to Mina, a tented area, few kilometres from Makkah from where they will proceed to Arafat on Friday, July 9, 2022.
Saudi gives succor, extend deadline
Meantime, the Saudi Arabia authorities have extended the deadline.
It was gathered that the General Authority on Civil Aviation (GACA) extended the deadline for the closure of Airspace till 7th July.
This reprieve, Kaabanews learnt, came after a high – level discussion between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia which was led by the Chairman /CEO of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON, in Saudi Arabia who arrived the Kingdom today, Wednesday, July 6.
With this new development the two airlines, Max Air and Azman airline would continue their airlifting operation from where they left off.
In a statement signed by Assistant Director, Public Affairs of the commission, Hajia Fatima Sands Years, NAHCON states:. “After 73 flights into Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Nigeria for the 2022 Hajj, a total of 29,128 pilgrims are safely in Makkah.
“Similarly, 920 officials have been transported within the airlift period. Most pilgrims have been moved to Makkah in preparation for Arafat that will take place on Friday, 10th July.
“From the Private Tour Operators, 8620 visas have been processed. About seven thousand of the intending pilgrims are currently in Saudi Arabia. In addition, NAHCON and leadership of Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators in Nigeria (AHOUN) assure that all Private Tour Operators’ pilgrims will be flown out of Nigeria before 12 midnight. The rescue operation will be conducted in Abuja, Lagos, and Kano. FlyNas will provide three aircraft while Kam Air, another Saudi Airline, has been contacted on standby in case there is need to deploy another aircraft.
“Meanwhile, All Tour Operators are to call the following numbers to coordinate movement of the pilgrims. They are:
“Nasiru Chamo, 08069776880- Kano zone
Alhaji Haruna Ismael, 0806000190 – Kano Zone
Alh Mansur, 08035043330- Abuja zone
Alh Kazeem, 0802 304 8180- Lagos zone
Alhaji Abdulhakeem Olanigan, 07062220505- Lagos
“NAHCON management and the AHOUN leadership urge the affected pilgrims to assemble at the agreed location for screening and consequent conveyance to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage.
“Similarly, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria is determined all intending pilgrims that NAHCON will not leave any pilgrim behind God willing. The Chairman will remain behind to ensure that no one is disenfranchised.