The on-going airlifting of Lagos State intending pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 2023 holy pilgrimage exercise has been rescheduled for June 14th and 15th.
Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, the immediate past Hon. Commissioner for Home Affairs disclosed this while addressing the yet to be airlifted intending pilgrims at the Shamsi Adisa Thomas (SAT) Mosque, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, on Sunday.
Elegushi reiterated that the initial dates given by Flynas airline for the airlifting exercise, which was announced during the One-Day Seminar held at De-Blue Roof, Lagos Television (LTV) ground, Agidingbi, Ikeja, was between Sunday, June 4th and 17th.
The former Commissioner explained further that Lagos State was privileged to kick-start the airlifting early on Thursday, June 1, because the States that were originally scheduled for airlifting between June 1 and 3 were not ready to airlift thier pilgrims, hence, the state tapped into the opportunity when approached by the airline to bring her intending pilgrims for airlifting. He added that the affected states are now ready to airlift their pilgrims between June 10th and 13th.
Elegushi noted that as a proactive state, Lagos has been able to airlift 3,110 intending pilgrims (both males and females) out of a total allocation of 3,644 to Saudi Arabia since the commencement of the airlifting exercise, saying that amongst the 36 states in Nigeria including the FCT, Lagos is the first to have accomplished such a large number of pilgrims in the Kingdom so far.
While assuring the few remaining intending pilgrims that they would be airlifted as rescheduled, he urged them not to be discouraged but take the situation as the will of Almighty Allah. He also enjoined them to return to their respective homes to enjoy the company of their families and await further announcement in due course.
He tendered an unreserved apology on behalf of the State for any inconveniences the situation might have caused them.
Elegushi was joined at the briefing by the former Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Matters, Alh. Ahmad Abdullahi Jebe; a Board member, Hon. Lolade Shonibare and the Board Secretary, Mr. Saheed Onipede, amongst others.