Reopen Maiduguri AIrport, Hajj Committee Urges Federal Govt

Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri

The Hajj Committee in Borno State, Adamu Timta, has urged the federal government to reopen the Maiduguri International Airport, to enable the over 4,000 pilgrims who travelled from the region on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Saudi Arabia to return with ease.

The airport has been shut for nearly a year now and at least 278 Hajj pilgrims were barred from flying to Saudi Arabia from Maiduguri in June this year and had to travel up to eight hours by road to Kano Airport before taking off, a trip which many described as stressful and unnecessary.



    Speaking to journalists on Monday from Saudi Arabia, the secretary of the committee, Adamu Timta, said the closure of the airport has brought untold hardship to the pilgrims and increased the challenges faced by the Borno State government which had to put in place needed strategies to airlift the pilgrims from both Kano and Dutse airports in Kano and Jigawa states respectively.

    He explained that the transportation of the pilgrims from Maiduguri to other state was very risky in view of the Boko Haram insurgency;, adding that many travellers have met their untimely deaths from various attacks on major roads in the North-east, especially the Maiduguri-Biu and Damaturu axis.

    “Transporting 2,645 people from Maiduguri to Dutse and Kano is not an easy task even if you are using an aircraft. These means we are going back to 1960s were we airlifted our pilgrims from Kano which is a big set back,” Timta added.

    The official also reasoned that other socio- economic activities would commence if the airport was reopened which will help in boosting the potentials of the state.

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