By Matthew Denis
T he first batch of pilgrims from Kwara State who performed the 2018 hajj exercise yesterday landed at the Ilorin International Airport.
The pilgrims numbering 553 arrived the facility aboard Max Air Boeing 774 around 10:42am, were said to have departed Jeddah International Airport exactly 7:55am Saudi time.
Waiting to receive the hajj pilgrims were their family members, friends and wells wishers who arrived the airport as early as 7:30am.
Speaking in separate interviews with our reporter, the pilgrims expressed appreciation to Allah for guiding them through the hajj rites and their journey back home.
“I’m very happy and appreciate Allah for his protection throughout the observation of the hajj exercise and I pray to remain faithful by observing all the prayers,” a female pilgrim, Hajia Maimunat Lanre said.
Similarly, Alhaji Al-Hassan Balogun said it was a delight that they did not spend much time in Saudi Arabia before connecting a homeward flight.
“It is a great relief that we are back home so early after the hajj rites. We are happy and I promise to remain faithful to Allah,” he said.
Speaking to National Pilot, the Executive Secretary of Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Tunde Mohammed Jimoh expressed his delight over the safe arrival of the first batch of pilgrims from the holy land.
Jimoh, in a text message sent to our reporter said, “The first Batch of Kwara pilgrims for this year’s hajj departed Jeddah Airport today exactly 7:55am Saudi time by Max Air with 553 passengers.
“All the pilgrims are in good condition of health as they went to the holy land with a competent medical team.”
He added that the Pilgrims returning to the state came with their luggage as they complied with the directive on 45Kg per person.