Gombe Set To Airlift Intending Pilgrims To Mecca
By: Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe
The Gombe State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has announced that preparations have reached top gear for the uplift of intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the 2023 Hajj to Mecca.
The Executive Secretary of the Board, Mr. Sa’adu Adamu, told journalists after a training of the intending pilgrims in Gombe, that all was set for the airlift of 2, 556 intending pilgrims, through Air Peace Airlines.
Mr. Adamu said the airlift for Gombe State would begin on June 3, 2023 and would be in about nine batches, because of the size of the plane to be used.
He, however, said that the board had chosen to use Air Peace because it was confirmed to be having new aircraft while hoping that the process of the uplifting of the intending pilgrims would be completed within eight to nine days.
The Executive Secretary of the Muslim Pilgrims Board in Gombe said because of reconstructions going on in Saudi Arabia, the houses used for previous pilgrimages for accommodation had been changed to other buildings, but within the same area.
He said the board had considered the fact that pilgrims from the state were used to the area and location so as to prevent losses.
According to him, efforts to secure accommodation for the intending pilgrims were agreed for buildings close to the former residence in the area, because of familiarity.
On the issue of fees increment of $250 per pilgrim, the Secretary of the Gombe State Muslim Pilgrims Board said the Federal Government had intervened to subsidize with $150 per pilgrim, while the State Government had also stepped in to reduce the remaining $100 from their Duty Tour Allowances of $800, so as to lessen the burden on them.
He said the increment became necessary because of the extra fuel the airlines would burn to go around Sudan, where the conflict in the country could not allow planes to fly above it.
Mr. Adamu said the Sudan war had affected the fuel consumption of planes because they had to fly around it to Saudi Arabia and as such needed more money for fuel.
Responding to the development, an intending pilgrim, Hamza Ya’u is thankful to the Federal Government for stepping in, through the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Commission, to salvage a larger part of the situation by paying $150 out of the $250.
Mr. Ya’u prays that God will bless Nigeria and increase its peace and riches.
Another intending pilgrim, Suleiman Mohammed is also thankful to God for the opportunity given to him to partake in this year’s pilgrimage, of which he is hoping to go and offer his devotion and worship to Allah in the Holy Land.
He is also thankful to the Federal and Gombe State Governments for their intervention to ensure that the increased fees are paid and they are able to undertake the holy pilgrimage