On Sunday, the chairman and Chief Executive Officer, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Jalal Arabi, revealed that no fewer than 120 flights airlifted Nigerians to Saudi Arabia for the holy pilgrimage.

Arabi also disclosed that pilgrims will start returning to Nigeria on June 22, 2024.

He disclosed this while briefing journalists in Abuja on the completion of the first phase of the Hajj operations for the 2024 Hajj.

Arabi said, “Nobody thought there was going to be a 2024 Hajj. I’m happy to say that Allah has not put us to shame.

“We must give credit to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is the enabler, the Vice president, state governors, and other stakeholders.

“The pilgrims also persevered and were determined to embark on the journey. They have made up their mind that they want to go at all costs. We are happy for the success so far.

“Pilgrims will start returning to Nigeria on June 22. And 120 flights have airlifted pilgrims to holy land as of today June 9.

“God helped us to do it and it was successful. The persistence that we must get it right has been what is pushing us to do the right thing.

“Before the deadline, 72 hours before the closure, all Nigeria would have been airlifted to the holy land by tomorrow morning.

“We have done our best and we are living the rest to God. We pray it is going to be successful by the end of the exercise.

“Close to 66 thousand pilgrims are been catered for. There are bound to be issues but we are tackling them one after the other.”