By AbdulFatai Beki
The first batch of 560 intending Pilgrims from Kwara were on Sunday transported to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from llorin International Airport.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the pilgrims departed the airport aboard Max Airline aircraft at about 5.40 a.m in the presence of relations and well-wishers.
The departure was also witnessed by Dr Awwal lbrahim, the 2022 KWARA Amirul Hajj and Executive Secretary of the state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board.
Ibrahim in a chat with NAN before the departure of the pilgrims, charged them to be good ambassadors of the state and Nigeria while in the holy land.
He appealed to the intending pilgrims to pray for the restoration of peace in the state and the country at large while performing the pilgrimage.
The Amirul-Hajj said the successful takeoff of the inaugural flight
was due to the efforts of Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq and prayed Allah to continue to guide him to pilot the affairs of the state to greater heights.
He attributed the delay in the transportation of pilgrims to the late outcome of PCR test results, adding that every intending pilgrims must go for the test 72 hours before the journey.
Ibrahim disclosed that a total of 1,500 intending pilgrims from the state would perform the 2022 Hajj with the board.
One of the intending pilgrims, Mr Yemi Lawal_Rabana, in an interview with NAN lauded the arrangement put in place by the state board.
He expressed optimism that the holy trip would be hitch free and attributed their delay at the airport to some logistical issues.
Another intending pilgrim, Mosurat Yusuf, said the board was able to make the facility conducive for them despite some of the challenges it encountered.