By Sade Williams
The Federal government on Tuesday, flagged off the 2017 Hajj operations at the Kaduna International airport as Medview Airline airlifted total of 1, 140 pilgrims from the airport.
This is just as Nasir El-Rufai, the State governor, who witnessed the ceremony, charged the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Nigeria in the holy land.
The airline, which started with the first batch of 460 pilgrims on board its Boeing 747-400 aircraft with flight 3110 which took off from the airport as a crowd of well-wishers watched on.
The airline also airlifted another batch of 220 on its Boeing 767-200ER with number flight 3108 around 5;30pm.
Speaking on the development, Managing director Medview, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, who accompanied the pilgrims to the aircraft, said the B747 had also been scheduled to airlift the second batch of 460 before the end of the day.
He explained that the airline has done everything to ensure that the pilgrims’ journey is hitch free and enjoyable from takeoff to landing at Saudi Arabia.
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, who came to see the pilgrims off on board the aircraft, who landed the Kaduna Airport as the pilgrims were boarding went to the aircraft to bid them farewell and gave his advice
The governor wished them well and enjoined them to be good and law abiding representatives of the state.
Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Representatives, Aminu Abdullahi Shagali, who was accompanied by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Balarabe Yakubu, to the event admonished the pilgrims.
He explained that the state government has put everything in place to ensure that the hajj was hitch free.
He enjoined the pilgrims to comport themselves in dignity in the Holy land while commending their level of understanding during the last time out.
“Hajj is for those who are able to physically and financially. The problem of hajj became a thing of the past in Kaduna state as government has put in measures to ensure it is hitch free. Kaduna state provides the best so far.”
“Our conduct during last year’s hajj was highly commendable and so let me enjoin you to continue in that trend and be good ambassadors of Kaduna state and Nigeria as a whole”, he said.