By Chukwuemeke Iwelunmo, Lagos
Exactly 420 pilgrims from Lagos state participating in this year’s holy pilgrimage to Makkah and Madinah have departed for Saudi Arabia.
This was disclosed by the Amir-ul-Hajj, Dr. AbdulLateef AbdulHakeem, during the inaugural airlifting exercise at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja while addressing the press.
The pilgrims comprising of 248 females and 72 males were drawn from Agege Local Government (120); Ajeromi-Ifelodun (119); Alimosho (119); Amuwo-Odofin (18) while18 came from the board.
He said that the 420 pilgrims were the first batch out of a total of 2, 270 intending pilgrims travelling with the Lagos state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board to Saudi Arabia.
While expressing his immeasurable joy that pilgrims from Lagos state were the first to be airlifted among the states in the South West, he stated that the flight which departed the airport at some minutes after 11.00 pm was going straight to Madinah.
This according to him would save the pilgrims the stress of travelling by road from Jedda to Madinah, adding that the pilgrims would be airlifted back-to-back from July 10-16 when the exercise is expected to be concluded.
Also speaking, the Chairman ad hoc committee for the 2019 hajj operation, Alhaji Ahmed Jebe, commended the board for the success recorded with the inaugural flight.
He assured that the welfare of the pilgrims while in Saudi Arabia, especially in the area of accommodation, feeding and health provisions would be paramount to the committee.