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Reasons Intending Pilgrims In Kano May Miss This Year’s Hajj – Executive Secretary


Reasons Intending Pilgrims In Kano May Miss This Year's Hajj - Executive Secretary

The Executive Secretary, Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board Alhaji Abba Muhammad Dambatta has thrown more light on the reasons why some intending pilgrims may miss this Hajj 2022, saying this may be due to a number of factors.

It will be recalled that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON has allocated 2, 239 slots to Kano state, but less than half of this figure had been airlifted to Saudi Arabia, while 1,300 are still stranded.

However, this came barely 24 hours to the closure of all airlifts by Saudi Arabia.

Speaking with Journalists in Kano on Tuesday, Mr Dambatta said the issue of air carrier and visa cancellation were the reasons why some of the state’s intending pilgrims may miss this year’s Hajj.

According to him, the state’s pilgrims welfare board had been using Max Air as the air carrier that transports their intending pilgrims for many years.

He disclosed that this year, however, NAHCON said it had assigned Azman Air to airlift the intending pilgrims of Kano State, a decision that the board rejected.

He added that “since the commencement of the operation, the airline has airlifted only 929 pilgrims in only 3 trips because they use aircraft with lower capacity.

His words, “I have made an effort to the extent that I sought the intervention of His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, but the commission insisted that we should go by Azman Air.”

Secondly, the issue of visa is another problem that might cost some pilgrims to miss this year’s Hajj, disclosing that about 66 visas had been cancelled.

He said there are 1,300 pilgrims stranded in the state, adding that he had requested for aircraft to rescue them.

“I have to contact Governor Ganduje about these stranded pilgrims who were subjected to this hardship by the air career assigned to airlift them.

“The governor had intervened and now some aircrafts are on the way to rescue them,” said Mr Dambatta.

But in a swift reaction, NAHCON, in a statement by Fatima Sanda Usara, Acting Director, Public Affairs said the commission had provided aircraft for rescue mission

The statement said the rescue operation will be conducted in Abuja, Lagos, and Kano.

FlyNas will provide three aircraft while Kam Air, another Saudi Airline, has been contacted on standby in case there is a need to deploy another aircraft.

Similarly, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria is determined to ensure that no one is disenfranchised,” said the statement.

While commenting on the incident, the officer in charge of Hajj operation in Azman Air in Kano, Mr. Nuraddeen, said the NAHCON is the body responsible for assigning the licensed airlines to airlift pilgrims.

He added that the delay was caused after the NAHCON directed Azman Air to concentrate on airlifting Kaduna state intending pilgrims, adding that only one flight is left to finish with the Kaduna pilgrims.

For Kano intending pilgrims, Mr. Nuraddeen assured that no pilgrim would be left out as the NAHCON had directed that attention should now be turned to Kano.

He revealed that Azman Air would airlift about 400 intending pilgrims on Tuesday while sister airlines will carry the remaining, assuring that “no pilgrim will be left out.”

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