President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan, would be leading thousands of Christian pilgrims from Nigeria to the Holy Land in Israel this year. This would be the first time since Nigeria’s independence that a sitting Head of State, would lead Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land.
His readiness to lead this year’s exercise was disclosed yesterday in Jalingo, Taraba State, by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, John Kennedy Okpara, when he paid a courtesy visit to Acting Governor Garba Umar.
According to him, the intending pilgrims will enjoy a nine per cent cost reduction on all packages as a way to encourage more participants in the exercise.
About 76,000 pilgrims from Nigeria are expected to perform this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia, in line with the Saudi authority’s directive on 20 per cent reduction on the number of performers from intending countries due to the ongoing renovation at the Grand Mósque, Haram.
To that end, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NHCN) has signed an agreement with six approved carriers for the airlift of pilgrims. NHCN Chairman, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, said the airlift would commence on September 14, 2013.
He listed the airlines as Max, Medview, Meridien and Cabo for state pilgrims, while Trade Craft and Nas Air are for international pilgrims.
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