The number of Nigerian pilgrims so far airlifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has risen to a total of 39,506. The Command and Control Centre of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said.
The commission, in a statement issued by its head of Media and Public Affairs unit, Hajia Fatima Sanda Usara, indicated that the pilgrims were airlifted in 81 different flights from the different States of the federation to Saudi Arabia.
Bringing the number to the 39, 506 mark were pilgrims from Kebbi state, who were made up of 248 males and 183 females.
NAHCON’s Head of Public Affairs, Fatima Sanda Usara, had reassured intending pilgrims and the general public that the airlift of Nigerian pilgrims from Sokoto, Adamawa, Niger, Edo, Ekiti, Ondo and Zamfara States, most whom from this point on, the pilgrims will August 10, 2019.
The pilgrims will take part in the rituals that would start on Friday, August 9, 2019 which is equivalent to the 8th day of the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar (Dhul-Hijjah).
The representative of NAHCON in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Aliyu Tanko, had on Friday, said about 150 buildings (hotels) of different categories and in various locations had been secured by the States to house the pilgrims in Makkah.
Tanko, who advised the pilgrims to prepare their minds for the coming hectic days, also urged them to consider what they would eat in order to face the challenges as anyone who missed Arafat had not performed Hajj (pilgrimage).
He also counselled the pilgrims to acquire the necessary knowledge about pilgrimage, adding that scholars had been brought to guide them in order to achieve acceptable Hajj.
This was as the FCT contingent has alongside other pilgrims from around the world joined those in Makkah.
The journey to Makkah was kick started from Mikkat, a point of departure between the City of Madinah and Makkah where pilgrims take their ritual baths, change into their Ihram to perform two rakats of prayer and also state their intension for Hajj.