Lagos concludes 2024 Hajj exercise

By Adeola Ogunrinde

Lagos State Commissioner of Home Affairs and the Amir-ul-Hajj, Hon. Ibrahim Layode, has announced the successful conclusion of its 2024 Hajj exercise with the safe return of the final batch of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

The Commissioner stated this in a recent meeting, expressing his satisfaction with the success of the pilgrims’ arrival, disclosing that the last group, consisting of 401 pilgrims and 11 officials, arrived at Muritala Mohammed International Airport on Flynas flight XY9066.

This group according to him, included 144 pilgrims from Lagos and 257 from Osun State.

The Commissioner also praised the pilgrims for their exemplary conduct in the Holy Land and promised improvements on the few challenges encountered during the exercise.

Layode announced that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) would convene a Post Hajj Conference with stakeholders to address and find lasting solutions to any issues faced during the pilgrimage.

“We give Glory to Almighty God for the successful completion of this spiritual journey, and I am indeed grateful to all the critical stakeholders that made this happen,” he said.

He commended the preparations by the Saudi authorities and the tremendous efforts of NAHCON, which ensured a smooth and successful operation.

The Commissioner also thanked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadiri Hamzat, for their support, which contributed significantly to the exercise’s success.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Matters, Dr. Abdullahi Jebe Ahmad, in his remarks, acknowledged the State government’s and pilgrims’ support, while praising the Saudi authorities for consistently improving the pilgrimage experience.

Also speaking, Chairman of the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Imam Shakiru Gafar, expressed gratitude for the successful operation and assured that the Board would strive for an even better operation next year.

Mr. Saheed Onipede, Board Secretary, highlighted the remarkable experience and credited the Saudi government, Nigerian officials, and the cooperative pilgrims for making the exercise successful.

The 2024 Hajj exercise involved the airlifting of approximately 1,869 pilgrims from Lagos State. The return journey, which began on June 23, concluded on July 3, with pilgrims returning safely to their families and friends, except in the case of the unfortunate passing of Oloshogbo Isiaka Idris.

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