Saudi Arabia set for Hajj 2016, as Nigerian pilgrims troop to Mecca

Muslims outside the Holy Prophet’s Mosque, Madina.

Muslims outside the Holy Prophet’s Mosque, Madina.

As Muslim pilgrims are trooping to Saudi Arabia, over 80,000 Nigerians are ready to be part of the largest gathering of people in the world.About two million people are expected in Mecca to observe the fifth pillar of Islam which is a mandatory religious duty for an adult Muslims who can afford it.

This year’s Hajj is expected to begin on Friday September 9 and end on September 14. Already, Saudi authorities estimate about one million people are in the country getting ready to embark on the ritual.

The city of Mecca has over 20,000 staff deployed to serve pilgrims while about 15,000 cleaners are positioned to clean the holy sites, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced.

Tents have been erected alongside buses to accommodate and transport pilgrims from one point to the other during the exercise, which have been heavily regulated this year to reduce congestion and avoid accidents. Eight hospitals and 128 health centers are also ready for service.

Over 30,000 restaurants and service shops have also been accredited to serve the millions who will be in the country.As more pilgrims troop in from across Africa and the entire world, the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affair (NSCIA) delegation for 2016 Hajj have also arrived Madina, Saudi Arabia, to ensure the implementation of plans for this year’s pilgrimage.

The Chairman Supervisory Committee for NSCIA, Yahaya Abubakar (Etsu Nupe), at King Abdulaziz International airport, Madina, said the ggroup will do what it can to ensure that the objectives of this year’s hajj are met.

Abubakar said the delegation was in the Kingdom to monitor and supervise the activities of all the stakeholder that are involved in hajj operations.According to him, “We are here to let them know what they need to do. We will ensure that all that is required of the pilgrims are done to the later.

The NSCIA chairman therefore confirmed that part of the implementation of the planes for the 2016 hajj is that the air carrier have air lifted over sixty thousand Nigerian Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), had announced recently that the airlift of about 60,000 Nigerian pilgrims to the Holy Land.With the steady progress made so far coupled with the number of aircraft made available for the operation by the airlines, the commission said the airlift may be completed before the closure of Saudi Arabia airspace.

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