NAHCON Chairman excited over additional two days granted by Saudi authorities, says all Nigerian intending pilgrims will be airlifted

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Chairman/CEO of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Wednesday in Makkah, Saudi Arabia again assured that all intending pilgrims will be uplifted to perform this year’s Hajj. He gave the assurance while speaking with journalists after his arrival in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. Alhaji Hassan disclosed  that Nigeria and other countries with transportation challenges had been granted an extension of 24 hours from the earlier two days given by the Saudi authorities and said this would go a long way to solve the problem of pilgrims airlifting. According to him, “It is our wish that no Nigerian intending pilgrim is left at home and we made several efforts to ensure this. Luckily, the Saudi authorities have further extended the date for closure of their airspace. “With this extension, the remaining 5,000 pilgrims will be able to perform their Hajj. Over 1,000 pilgrims are on their way today (Wednesday). “These two windows; of extension of date of closure and engagement of chartered aircrafts, will ensure that all pilgrims realize their dream of performing this religious act,” he said. The NAHCON Chairman said the earlier challenges were due to the cancellations and delays of flights caused by lack of preparedness of states. He urged journalists putting the blames squarely of NAHCON to display professionalism in their reportage of the 2022 Hajj operations. He said adequate arrangements had been made to share the journalists into all tents at the Holy sites in order to give Nigerians enough information about all pilgrims. On the drama between him and a Niger State Hajj official who wanted to prevent the Chairman from flying to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday because all pilgrims had not been airlifted, Hassan described it as a justifiable act. “I understand with the Niger state pilgrims official who was concerned about his pilgrims that are still in Nigeria. But like I explained to him, I have a responsibility to the other large number of pilgrims already in Saudi Arabia just as those in Nigeria. “That was why I left behind the commissioners for Operations, Head of Aviation, Special Duties and others  to continue. Luckily, the extension of airspace came as we arrived,” he said.

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