The first batch of 561 intending pilgrims from Borno have on Sunday been transported to Saudi Arabia for the 2018 Hajj.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the pilgrims were transported by Max Air in the early hours of the day from the Maiduguri International Airport.
The state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Durkwa, who inaugurated the exercise, admonished the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the country while in the holy land.
Durkwa also called on them to be law abiding, dedicate themselves to spiritual supplications and pray for peace and stability in the country.
Dr Mustapha Ali, the Executive Secretary, Borno State Pilgrims Welfare Board, told NAN that the board had registered 1, 563 pilgrims in the state.
Ali disclosed that the exercise would be in three batches and was expected to be completed soon.
He explained that the first batch comprised over 500 pilgrims while the second batch of 545 pilgrims would also be transported to Saudi Arabia soon.
According to him, the State Government has secured decent accommodation for the pilgrims in Makkah and Madinah, adding that effective transport arrangements for the pilgrims in the Holy land had been made by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
Ali said that the board had also sensitised the pilgrims to the rites to be performed during the Hajj as well as rules and regulations governing pilgrims’ stay in the Saudi Kingdom.
He said the board had deployed its personnel to guide and attend to the needs of the pilgrims with a view to ensuring their welfare.