President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday in Abuja restated the
commitment of the Federal Government to ensure the safety of Nigerian
pilgrims throughout their stay in Saudi Arabia.
Buhari, represented by the FCT Minister, Malam Musa Bello, gave the
assurance while inaugurating first flight for the 2018 Hajj with
pilgrims from Kogi State, at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport,
He said that government would do everything possible within the ambit
of the law to ensure the comfort and security of Nigerian pilgrims
from the point of departure until they return to Nigeria.
He, however, advised the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the
country and to fervently pray for Nigeria to overcome its security,
socioeconomic and political challenges.
“The Federal Government will continue to provide all the needed
support to ensure that Nigerian pilgrims leave the soil of Nigeria
safely, go to Saudi Arabia and perform hajj successfully and come
back,” Buhari said.
Earlier, the Executive Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria
(NAHCON), Abdullah Muhammad, thanked the President for his support and
understanding whenever the commission sought for assistance to
diligently deliver its mandate.
Muhammad also applauded the Kogi State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board
for keeping to the arrangement, which ensured a smooth inaugural
ceremony of the first batch of Nigerian pilgrims from Kogi at the
In his speech, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Adnan Bostaj,
assured that the Kingdom had made all necessary arrangements to ensure
the comfort and wellbeing of pilgrims before, during and after the
He, however, appealed to Nigerian pilgrims to strictly adhere to Saudi
Arabia rules and regulations, which are not punitive, but meant to
serve them better.
The Chairman House Committee on Nigeria-Saudi Inter-Parliamentary
Relations, Dr Abdullahi Silame, urged Nigerian pilgrims to reciprocate
government gestures in ensuring that they perform Hajj, which is an
important pillar of Islam with little or no stress.
No fewer than 502 pilgrims from Kogi and NAHCON officials including
some members of the National Media Team boarded Max Air direct to
Prince Muhammad Bin Sultan International Airport, Madinah.