By Abdulrasheed Bello
A civil society group, Independent Hajj Reporters, has tasked air carriers approved for 2019 hajj operations to abide by the agreement it entered with pilgrims for seamless airlift of Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
The civil society disclosed this during the inauguration of its 21 state coordinators who will liaise with hajj stakeholders, in Abuja at the weekend.
The national coordinator of the civil society group, Ibrahim Muhammad, urged the two domestic airlines – Max Air and Medview – to ensure that its local operations do not disrupt their airlift schedules to the holy land.
“Recent reports of passengers’ disappointment on the local route of the approved 2019 hajj carriers made Independent Hajj Reporters to caution the air carriers,” he said.
The civil society group said the success of hajj operation largely depends on the seamless movement of pilgrims from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia and vice versa.
“Pilgrims have fulfilled their part of the responsibility, NAHCON and States Muslim Pilgrims Boards have partially fulfilled theirs by signing the contract with the airlines. The challenge now lies on the ability of the airlines to airlift pilgrims within the agreeable time,” Muhammad said.
He said the civil society acknowledged the tremendous improvement in pilgrims airlift, adding that: “But there is still a need for collective effort to sustain the stride and improve on them for the benefit of Nigerian pilgrims.”
The appointed state coordinators include those in Kano, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Niger, Lagos, Katsina, Kwara, Kaduna, FCT, Kebbi, Zamfara, Yobe, Kogi, Borno, Jigawa, Adamawa, and Gombe states.