2023 Hajj: Gombe set to airlift 2, 556 intending pilgrims to Mecca
By Matthew Eloyi
The Gombe State Muslim Pilgrims Board has disclosed that plans have been concluded for the uplift of intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the 2023 Hajj to Mecca.
After a training session for prospective pilgrims in Gombe, the Board’s Executive Secretary, Mr Sa’adu Hassan Adamu, told newsmen that all was prepared for the airlift of 2, 556 prospective pilgrims via Air Peace Airlines.
According to Adamu, the airlift for Gombe State would begin on June 3, 2023, and would be in about nine batches, because of the size of the plane to be used.
He, however, said that the board had chosen to use Air Peace because it was confirmed to be new while hoping that the process of the airlifting of the intending pilgrims would be completed within eight to nine days.
The Executive Secretary said because of reconstructions going on in Saudi Arabia, the houses used for previous pilgrimages for accommodation had been changed to other buildings, but within the same area.
He said the board had considered the fact that pilgrims from the state were used to the area and location, hence the efforts made to secure the accommodation for the intending pilgrims close to the former residence in the area.
On the issue of a fees increment of 250 dollars per pilgrim, Adamu said the Federal Government had intervened to subsidise with 150 dollars per pilgrim, while the State Government had wade in to reduce their Duty Tour Allowances of 800 dollars, so as to lessen the burden on them.
He said the increment became necessary because of the extra fuel the airlines would burn to go around Sudan, where the conflict in the country could not allow planes to fly above it.