By Dare Akogun
THE first batch of 539 pilgrims from Kwara State were airlifted to Saudi Arabia on Sunday for the commencement of the 2022 pilgrimage.
The pilgrims travelled with a Max Air aircraft from the Ilorin International Airport.
They will be performing their Hajj rites for this year’s pilgrimage at Medina, in Saudi Arabia.
The pilgrims were seen off by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Religion (Islam), Zubair Ibrahim Dan Maigoro, the Amirul Hajj Awa Akewusola, the board chairman Sambo Zambaki, Executive Secretary AbdulGaniyu Ahmed and other officials, as well as family members and well-wishers.
The Amirul Hajj Akewushola urged the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state and the nation at large and guard against violation of all laid down rules and regulations of the Saudi government.
He commended the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for supporting the board and the pilgrims.
Akewushola also urged the pilgrims to pray fervently while in the Holy Land for the peace and development of the state and the nation.
Executive Secretary of the state pilgrims welfare board, Ahmed, also commended the state governor and the Amirul Hajj for ensuring the smooth take-off of the inaugural flight.
About 1,500 seats were allocated to Kwara State by the National Hajj Commission for this year’s pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.