A total number of one thousand, five hundred and fifty intending pilgrims from Nigeria missed this year’s Hajj at the closure of Jeddah International Airport last night, preparatory to Arafah today.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria NACHON which disclosed this in a release by the Assistant Director Public Affairs Fatima Sanda Usara stated that the most affected State is Kano with seven hundred pilgrims while an estimated Seven hundred and fifty pilgrims from Private Tour Operators and nine from Plateau State were also affected.
The commission said “we regret that despite all efforts mustered to airlift all Nigerian intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the 2022 Hajj, we were incapacitated in discharging this responsibility fully, majorly due to last minute setbacks that frustrated ourplan to conclude airlift of pilgrims by the 27th of last month.”
“it is unfortunate that the chartered flights option that offered so much hope to the commission and the Private Tour Operators’ leadership also became a failure as their IBAN accounts failed accreditation by the respective authorities in Saudi Arabia.
” While we regret this, we want to assure that all affected pilgrims will be refunded their Hajj fares as we shall work towards improving these deficiencies against next time,” the statement said
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria also expressed deep and unreserved apologies to entire intending pilgrims to 2022 Hajj for the hardships and disappointments experienced during outbound airlift operations to the holy land.
The statement equally offered similar apologies to the federal government of Nigeria, State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, Private Tour Operators, and the general public for any embarrassment the situation of the past few weeks might .have caused them.
Muideen Adeleke who is taking part in the exercise reports that presence within the designated area on Arafah day for the major hajj rites is obligatory on every pilgrim as anyone who is unable to make it there is presumed to have missed hajj that year.