From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna
As Nigeria commences airlift of its intending pilgrims for this year’s Hajj, Kaduna State Government has airlifted its first batch of 368 pilgrims to the holy land via Saudi Airline, on Tuesday night.
The intending pilgrims, who were accompanied by 20 Hajj officials from the state, hailed from Soba local government area of the state. They appeared healthy and were airlifted by Flyness, a Saudi Arabian airline around 2:30 am and arrived Prince Muhammad Abdul’azeez International Airport in Madinah around 5:30 am on Tuesday.
Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Muktar Ramalan Yero, who addressed the intending pilgrims at the State Pilgrims Transit Camp, Mando before the flight, urged them to be good ambassadors of the state.
“We expect you to be good ambassadors of Kaduna and Nigeria while in the holy land. We want you to be patient with your officials and you must obey Saudi laws. I wish you an acceptable Hajj,” he said.
Governor Yero charged the Hajj officials to fear Allah and treat the pilgrims in the best way that they can even as he enjoined them to tolerate them in the holy land.
Earlier, Overseer of the State Pilgrims’ Board, Alhaji Kabir Kasim joined the governor in urging the pilgrims to pray for peace and security in the state and country at large.
“Please pray for this state and country because we want insecurity to end. The governor has provided Ihram (white garment) free to all the male pilgrims in the state” he said.
According to him, all the pilgrims are expected to land in Madinah.
The state’s Amirul Hajj, Malam Rabiu Bako said Hajj is among the pillars of Islam, promising a hitch free hajj exercise for 2014 while thanking Governor Yero for the opportunity to serve the state and the pilgrims as Amirul Hajj..