220 pilgrims airlifted from region to Mecca



NO fewer than 220 Muslim pilgrims from the South East have been successfully airlifted to Mecca through Bellview Airline from the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Mr. Ismaila Bashir, the Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Enugu Command, has said.

Bashir disclosed yesterday in an interaction with newsmen. Explaining that the pilgrims were drawn from Abia, Anambra and Ebonyi states, he added that the airlift was significant as it marked the second successful exercise by Muslim pilgrims the airport had witnessed since it gained international status.

He said: “The pilgrims were lifted through Bellview Airline and it was a massive experience for us as we have overcome challenges and difficulties of the past. We expect the next badge of pilgrims of similar number that could not join their colleagues to be airlifted in the next two or three days.”

Bashir said the command had procured more passports for intending Muslim and Christian pilgrims to avoid glut and late-hour rush. He called for synergy between the command and pilgrim welfare boards in the state so as to serve intending pilgrims better.
The NIS comptroller said the command had faced stiff challenges coordinating Muslim and Christian pilgrims in the past.

“The various pilgrims boards need to realise that migration is regulated by law; and NIS is the center point of issuance of travel documents.
“Intending pilgrims should also be enlightened on how best to handle their travel documents as well as how to conduct themselves while in the holy land,” he said.

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