Barring any last minute changes, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria(NAHCON), on Friday said it would start the airlifting of all Nigerian pilgrims back home, beginning from Saturday, August 17.
The Commissioner in charge of operations, Alhaji Saleh Modibbo, disclosed this during the Post-Arafat meeting attended by stakeholders on Hajj operations in Makkah.
According to him, the first return flight is scheduled for August 17 with MaxAir and Flynas airlines, adding that committees have been put in place to ensure smooth return flights back home.
Briefing the meeting about the activities of the medical personnel during the Hajj operations, the medical team chairman, Dr Ibrahim Kana stated that the medical personnel worked hard to ensure that the medical needs of all the pilgrims were adequately catered for.
He, however, advocated the introduction of a consultation fee of one Saudi Riyal to discourage pilgrims from the incessant coming to the clinic just to collect drugs, noting that such incidents is one of the challenges that confronted the committee in the course of discharging its assignment.
A stakeholder, Alhaji Muhammad Kudu lamented the untidy and crowded nature of Nigerian pilgrims camp in Muna.
He said: “A situation where we have between 25 and 30 pilgrims under one tent is not the best.
“Some of our pilgrims left Muna with diseases they did not bargain for.”
Responding, NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammad, attributed the untidy nature of the Nigerian camp at Muna to overpopulation and lackadaisical attitude of some pilgrims towards making their environment clean.
He called for more education for the pilgrims, on the need to keep their tents clean always.
According to him, Muna, which was initially meant for 950 people, had to accommodate two million pilgrims during Arafat day and other religious activities.