As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosts nearly one million pilgrims for the emergency hajj 2022, an Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has commended the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria for successfully airlifting Nigerian pilgrims in spite of several challenges.
This was contained in a statement issued by the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The full statement reads:
“About 899,353 Muslims from all over the world performed this year’s limited emergency pilgrimage. Of this number, 43,008 came from Nigeria based on the allocation given to the country by Saudi Arabia authorities. This year’s hajj proved highly challenging due to the Covid-19 outbreak which thwarted efforts to perform the exercise in 2020 and 2021.
“Even at a stage, it was not clear whether or not hajj 2022 would take place. This uncertainty made planning and logistics difficult ab initio. This is why we must commend the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) under the able leadership of Alhaj Dhikrullah Hassan.
“43,008 Nigerians were transported in 73 flights in what observers see as a great achievement going by the fears and doubts expressed at the beginning of the airlifting operation due to time shortage.
“Even the pilgrims in various states were not so certain that they would be eventually airlifted. They were therefore full of praises for NAHCON when the unexpected happened. At least 96.4 percent of Nigerian pilgrims made it to the holy land.
“Equally praiseworthy is the return journey which kicked off a few days ago and is still in progress. A lot of intellectual logistic permutation has gone into the airlifting exercise from both Jedda and Madinah so much so that all Nigerian pilgrims are expected back in the country by Monday, 31st July, 2022. This feat is highly laudable, particularly coming at this difficult period.”