The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Saturday began the transportation of Nigerians who performed the 2019 pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia back to Nigeria with 432 pilgrims from Lagos state.
The Lagos pilgrims departed the King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah at about 3:00 p.m. local time, on board Flynas airline.
The second flight is expected to start from the same airport later on Saturday with the first batch from Katsina state billed to be on board MaxAir.
No fewer than 65,000 Nigerians participated in the 2019 hajj exercise w8th the over 1.8 million pilgrims across the globe.
The Pilgrims began the hajj by observing some days of special prayers at the Prophet’s mosque in Madinah, which is the second holiest city in Saudi Arabia; the first being Makkah.
They also created time to visit many religious and historic sites, including mount Uhud, the oldest Islamic mosque (Quba) and Qu’ranic exhibition centre in Madinah among others.
The climax of the pilgrimage was a day-long special prayer at the Plain of Mount Arafat, the place where Prophet Muhammad (SAW) delivered his last sermon according to the Islamic tradition and the symbolic throwing of pebbles at the devil at Jamrat.
The pilgrims then celebrated Eid-el-Kabir festival and slaughtered rams; a sacrifice emulating prophet Abraham (AS).
NAHCON disclosed that Nigeria lost 10 pilgrims during the exercise. (NAN)