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01st August, 2017.
From Left: Chairman/CEO, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Alhaji Abdullahi Mukhtar; Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Uja Tor Uja and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Alhaji Muhammed Bello at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport during the Flag-off of the airlifting of first batch of 2017 intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia in Abuja on Sunday.

NCPC boss joined NAHCON officials for flag-off of intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Uja Tor Uja joined his counterpart, Chairman/CEO, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Alhaji Abdullahi Mukhtar for the flag-off ceremony of the 2017 airlifting for Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

The inaugural flight for the Federal Capital Territory pilgrims left for Madinah, aboard a Saudi Arabian airliner, Flynas from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The official flag off ceremony was carried out by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mohammed Bello.

Osinbajo called on the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the nation, urging them to pray for the prosperity of Nigeria.

"You represent the largest, single group of Nigerians leaving the shores of the country within a specific time. You are all ambassadors of this great country, you should, therefore, conduct yourself with the fear of Allah," he said. Adding: "Please pray for our country, our leaders, our dear president so that he can come back safely to continue to steer the country".

The chairman of National Hajj Commission if Nigeria, Abdullahi Muktar, said about 79,000 pilgrims are so far registered to participate in the hajj exercise.

Of the number, he said 60,000 are from the 36 states, FCT and the armed forces, while over19,000 are registered by Independent tour operators.

Mohammed said "this number is unprecedented going by the global economic crunch including Nigeria". He also said about 25 per cent of officials from the commission and outside have decided to sacrifice their hajj and just work for the pilgrims.

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