By Zubairu Idris
The Katsina State Pilgrims Welfare Board has denied abandoning its pilgrims in Saudi Arabia after completion of the 2017 hajj.
Alhaji Salisu Shinkafi, Chairman of the board made the denial on Tuesday in Makkah during a press conference.
“Our attention has been drawn on the rumour being circulated in Nigeria that we abandoned our pilgrims in the Holy Land after completion of the hajj.
“You can recall that the state pilgrims in the first to fourth flights had already been transported back to Nigeria.
“The exercise is ongoing, and it is NAHCON, Airline companies and Saudi Arabian authority who regulate airlift of pilgrims.
“Initially, transportation of pilgrims to Nigeria was scheduled to be completed on Oct. 5, while Katsina state will complete its own on Oct. 3, 2017.
“Now there is an adjustment in which the last flight to Nigeria will depart King Abdulaziz International Airport on Oct. 3, while the last flight of Katsina State pilgrims will be on Sept.29.
“The date of departure of every pilgrim is indicated in the flight schedule given to him/her by Airline Company before arriving Saudi Arabia for hajj.
“I assure you that no pilgrim will stay longer than necessary in the Holy land,’’ Shinkafi said.
The chairman advised those circulating the “false information” to fear Allah and desist from such act, stressing that the state government would continue to take good care of the pilgrims until they return home.
He said: “Our pilgrims are not in any difficulty and were not abandoned, we give them two meals of food daily, we have already given them 300 Saudi Riyals each, while medical personnel will continue to attend to their health problems.”(NAN)