Group hails NAHCON over airlift of Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia
A group of Islamic scholars under the auspices of the Ummah Leadership Forum has hailed all hajj stakeholders currently working tirelessly to ensure that all intending Nigerian pilgrims are transported to Saudi Arabia for the 2023 Hajj exercise.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Chairman of the Forum, Alhaji Sulaiman Yahaya and Secretary Abdullateef Olawale commending NAHCON for overcoming many unexpected challenges that come along with 2023 airlifts of Nigerian pilgrims.
The group who are currently in Saudi Arabia to perform 203 Hajj stated that, “Nigerians need to appreciate the sleepless nights and hectic nature of transporting over 95,000 people from their homes to another country.
As the airlift of Nigeria pilgrims to the Holy Land is getting to an end, some states had expressed disappointments due to delay in airlifting intending pilgrims but the scholars said, “We arrived here through the second flight from FCT and to be fair, NAHCON staff here have been up and doing and a lot of pilgrims have expressed their appreciation.
“For example, the commission along with other stakeholders were able to find workable solutions to the closure of Sudan airspace – an unforeseen challenge that propped up less than two weeks before the commencements of airlifts of Nigeria pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
“Secondly, we also learned from the media recently that NAHCON faced a lot of administrative bottlenecks in funding the air carriers that manifestly limit the ability and capacity of airliners during this period.
“Remember that the initial date set for the commencement of airlifts was changed due to the inability of the airlines and NAHCON to agree on the “exact cost of air tickets” which also derailed the airlifts process, they observed.
“While we acknowledge the pains of pilgrims whose flights were delayed, we should also understand that the process of a mass evacuation of pilgrims is tedious and appreciates the efforts of the commissions and other stakeholders”.
“Hajj airlifts is the only exercise in the world that involves transporting hundreds of thousands of people within a stipulated time. Each country participating in hajj airlifts has its peculiar challenges because of the nature of the operations,” the scholars added.