An inaugural flight of 546 pilgrims departed Nigeria for Saudi Arabia on Thursday to perform the Hajj exercise. The flight was inaugurated by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum at the Maiduguri International Airport, Borno State. 

Driving the news
The federal government of Nigeria chose the violence plagued state for the inaugural flight as an appreciation of the return of peace to the state. 

What they are saying 
In President Buhari’s speech delivered by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, he called on the Nigerian pilgrims to avoid any act that can tarnish the image of the country. He further urged the citizens to pray for the smooth transition of power in 2023. 

What you should know

  • The inaugural flight at the Maiduguri International Airport, Borno State on Thursday airlifted 546 out of over 1300 intending pilgrims in the state. In the coming days, more pilgrims would leave for Saudi Arabia from different parts of the country.
  • Meanwhile, FCT pilgrim authorities invited the first batch of intending pilgrims to camp at the Permanent Hajj Transit Camp, Bassan Jiwa, near the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on Thursday against their first take off on Friday. This is to enable them to get ready the necessary documents. 
  • Nigeria is to airlift a total of 46,000 pilgrims in the country’s first trip in three years. Saudi Arabia suspended the Hajj exercise in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic. 
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