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Lagos State Concludes 2024 Hajj Operations

The Lagos State government has concluded the 2024 Hajj exercise with the safe arrival of the last and final batch of state pilgrims from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

The pilgrims on board Flynas flight XY9066 touched down at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos with 401 pilgrims and 11 officials comprising 144 Lagos and 257 Osun State pilgrims.

Speaking to the journalists on arrival at the tarmac of the airport, the Amir-ul-Hajj and State Commissioner of Home Affairs, Hon. Ibrahim Layode said the Hajj operation was a success.

The Commissioner, who was visibly elated, appreciated the pilgrims for their exemplary conduct whilst in the Holy Land, promising that the State would work to improve on the few challenges observed during the exercise.

He mentioned that a Post Hajj Conference is expected to be convened with the stakeholders by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), to address some of the glitches towards finding a lasting solution. We give Glory to Almighty God for the successful completion of this spiritual journey and I am indeed grateful to all the critical stakeholders that made this happen.

His words, “It was an encouraging journey with adequate preparations by the Saudi Authority to ensure that all pilgrims had a hitch-free exercise and the effort of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) was also tremendous, as they put up a good spirit which made the exercise a huge success”.

“Looking ahead, we know that when the National Hajj Commission completes the whole operation they will convene a Post Hajj Conference that will involve the Amir-ul-Hajj of all the states of the federation with their Pilgrim Boards and this will enable us to dissect the operation for the year and look at areas of improvement in the coming year. We are all looking forward to that meeting”, he said.

Layode also extended his appreciation to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Hamzat for their support to the pilgrims and the Board, saying the support contributed greatly to the success recorded during the exercise.

Special Adviser to Governor on Islamic Matters, Dr. Abdullahi Ahmad Jebe, who appreciated the State government and the pilgrims for their support, acknowledged the effort of the Saudi authority to consistently create an improved ambience for the pilgrims which has made this year’s Hajj exercise a memorable one, particularly for the Lagos State pilgrims.

Chairman, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Imam (Engr.) Shakiru Gafar thanked God for a successful operation, just as he appreciated the pilgrims who spent their wealth, health and time to serve the Almighty God, with the assurance by the Board of a better operation in the coming year.

On his part, the Board Secretary, Mr. Saheed Onipede maintained that the exercise was a remarkable experience which was made possible with the audacious effort of the Saudi government, the commitment exhibited by the Nigeria government, Lagos State government, officials as well as the cooperation of the pilgrims from the State.

Recall that about 1,869 pilgrims were airlifted for the holy pilgrimage exercise by the State and the return journey which started on June 23 climaxed on July 3, apart from the late Oloshogbo Isiaka Idris who lost his life during the period, all other pilgrims were safely airlifted back home to their families and friends while some left to their bases in USA and UK directly from Saudi Arabia.

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