2018 Hajj: Last batch of 512 Kwara pilgrims arrive Saudi Arabia


…as NDLEA explains non deployment of sniffer dogs for operation

By Matthew Denis

The last batch of 512 of Kwara intending pilgrims including officials of the state Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board were airlifted by Max Air at exactly 11:07am on Sunday.

The batch is the third of the hajj operations for Kwara at the Ilorin International Airport, while airlifting of pilgrims from Ekiti and Ondo states at the airport will commence on Wednesday.

 Among those airlifted in the last batch were the state 2018 AMIRUL Hajj, Prof Halidu Abubakar, the Executive Secretary of the Board, Alhaji Mohammed Tunde-Jimoh and other officials.

The Chairman of the state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board in an interview with Pilot Aviation before departure applauded effort of all stakeholders and security agencies for the success of this year’s exercise.

Jimoh equally appreciated the state government under the administration of Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed for the support towards the 2018 Hajj operation.

On his part, The AMIRUL Hajj called on intending pilgrims to abide by laid down rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia.

He said: “First and foremost the intending pilgrims know they are going for religious obligations therefore they should obey the laws of the Holy land and be good ambassadors of Nigeria.

“They should observe the spiritual obligations of the hajj rites and remain prayerful for peace, unity and progress of the country as it is heading towards 2019 general elections,” he added.

Also speaking, the Commandant of National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kwara Command, Barrister Ona Ogilegwe has blamed logistics for non deployment of sniffer dogs for screening at the airport.

Recall that NDLEA had planned deployment of four sniffer dogs at the airport for the 2018 hajj operations

 Ogilegwe explained that “Due to logistic hitches within the command we were unable to deploy sniffer dogs from our headquarters to the state for the hajj operations.”

He, however, warned the intending pilgrims against carrying contraband items that could get them into trouble.


… Beware of fraudsters, NAHCON warns pilgrims

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Sunday cautioned Muslim intending pilgrims performing this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia against fraudsters on the prowl at their hotel camps for dubious business deals.

The Head of NAHCON Civil Education,  Umar Bala, gave the warning while addressing pilgrims from Kwara, Kaduna and Kebbi states in Madinah.

He said “you can see some strangers around your hotels canvassing for one thing or the other outside there. NAHCON does not recognise them, so stay away from them

“Please be careful in dealing with unauthorised persons who present themselves as money changers; report such people to your officials; you must always get assistance of officials in changing money and other transactions”

He stressed that the commission in collaboration with state pilgrims agencies, had secured befitting accommodation and food for pilgrims, advising them to avoid buying food from unauthorised persons.

Mr Bala urged the pilgrims to cooperate with their officials for a hitch-free Hajj and stressed the need to offer special prayers for Nigeria and its leadership.

“You owe it a duty to pray for your families, country and its leadership so that our economy can grow and there shall be peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.”

The visit to the states was in continuation of the commission’s enlightenment programme which began in Nigeria ahead of the pilgrima

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