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First flight of hajj 2024 takes off from Birnin Kebbi to Saudi Arabia with pilgrims from Kebbi

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Pilgrims boarding the aircraft to Saudi Arabia

By El-Yakub Dabai, Birnin Kebbi

Nigeria’s inaugural flight for this year’s Hajj has this Wednesday 15 May departed Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport, Birnin Kebbi for Prince Muhammad bin Abdulazeez International Airport, Medina with 423 pilgrims and Hajj officials from Jega and Arewa Local Government Areas of Kebbi State.

While flagging off the flight Vice President Kashim Shetima said in spite of the economic constraints the country went through because of downward dive of the naira, President Bola Tinubu had graciously provided N90billion to subsidise this year’s hajj.

He therefore urged the departing pilgrims to reciprocate the good gestures while in the holy land and pray for their political, religious and community leaders as well as an end to the current security challenges facing Nigeria.

The Vice President while advising the pilgrims to conduct themselves according to Saudi Authorities, he commended Governor Nasir Idris for providing all the necessary support that made the take off of the inaugural fight a success.

Vice President Kashim Shettima delivers an address at the flag off

In his remarks, Governor Nasir Idris said pilgrims were flown to Saudi Arabia last year from Sokoto due to some solvable issues at the Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport, Birnin Kebbi, revealing that he had tackled them, henceforth the state pilgrims would be airlifted from the airport.

He then directed political office holders and Local Government Administrators to provide financial assistance to pilgrims from their respective constituencies while in the holy land to enable them carry out hajj rites comfortably.

Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, described hajj as a spiritual voyage aimed at cleansing the souls of the worshippers, therefore urged the pilgrims not to carry illicit substances and luggage’s that would deter them from attaining the purpose of the pilgrimage.

Earlier, in his remarks, the National Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Jalal Ahmad Arabi, said the commission had secured best accommodation in Madina for the comfort of the pilgrims besides making beneficial bilateral arrangements between Saudi Authorities and the Commission for their welfare.

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