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The first batch of Lagos pilgrims yesterday departed Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) with 460 passengers onboard.

The Med-View Airline Boeing 747-400 aircraft which conveyed the pilgrims took off at 12:52 pm in the presence of officials of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), the State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the airline.

The 460 pilgrims who left for King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah were among the over 2000 Lagosians who would be performing the pilgrimage.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Med-View Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole said the airline had dedicated three aircraft to airlift pilgrims on schedule. He said since the commencement of the airlift exercise last week, it had been going on smoothly, assuring that in the next one week, the airlift of Lagos zone comprising the South West pilgrims would be completed.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. AbdulHakeem Abdullateef who is the state Amirul- Hajj, said the state had given the pilgrims adequate enlightenment to go to the holy land, learn from the developmental efforts of Saudi Arabia and replicate them in Nigeria.

The Southwest Commissioner of NAHCON, Imam Fuad Adeyemi, had stepped up enlightenment efforts to ensure maximum compliance of pilgrims with the rules and regulations.

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