… delay due to Biometric – Ex Sec
By Matthew Denis
A total of 559 intending Muslim pilgrims from Kwara State were airlifted by Max Air through Ilorin International airport as the second batch for the hajj exercise on Wednesday.
Recall that 555 pilgrims from the state had left last Friday marking the inaugural flight for 2018 hajj exercise from Ilorin zone out of the total 2,200 seats allocated to the state by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
The latest flight swell the number of pilgrims that have so far travelled through the Ilorin facility to 1,114 pilgrims while the state is expecting two more flights for the other batches of intending pilgrims including the officials of the welfare board.
Speaking to this medium, yesterday, the Executive Secretary of Kwara State Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Tunde Jimoh said, ” We are expecting the take off of today flight as our second batch to Medina.
“Over 1,100 pilgrims have gone from the state and the next flight will be on Friday Insha Allah.
Jimoh while acknowledging the screening process by the security agencies at the airport however stressed that there are few challenges.
He said, “the screening exercise have been wonderful but we have little challenges as some security agencies want to exhibit their professionalism by drilling our pilgrims which I don’t think should be applicable in this circumstance since majority are illiterates.
“Though the strict screening process is to ensure compliance so that the pilgrims do not carry contraband items with them to the Asian country, ” he stated while attributing the delay in the entire exercise this year to the new policy of Biometric capturing.
He said ” this year hajj operation has a lot of challenges ranging from the Saudi Authority new policy and NAHCON biometric policy.
Also speaking, the NAHCON representative of North Central Ilorin Zone, Alhaji Adeyinka Ishiaq shared similar few with his colleague even as he enjoined the intending pilgrims to obey the rules and regulations regarding the hajj exercise and to pray for peace and prosperity of the country.