Nigerian pilgrims begin return today



ALTHOUGH the National Hajji Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) is yet to confirm the number of casualties from Nigeria among the victims of last Thursday’s stampede at tent city of Muna, Saudi Arabia, the airlifting of pilgrims back to Nigeria has been scheduled to commence today.

Director, Media Unit of NAHCON, Alhaji Uba Mana disclosed yesterday that two airlines – Flynas and Medview would start the return journey with two flights to Abuja and Lagos.

“Insha Allahu, the first set of our pilgrims will depart from Jeddah tomorrow morning (today) for return journey to Nigeria,” Uba said, promising that the flight exercise will follow the principle of ‘first to come first to leave’.

He declined further comment on the actual figure of the victims “until after the meeting of the leadership of NAHCON with the embassy officials,” Uba said last night.

About 70,000 Nigerians, including tour operators participated in this year’s hajj exercise.

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