Kano - No fewer than 1 057 pilgrims from Kano State returned to Nigeria on Thursday after the completion of their Hajj rites in an inaugural flight signalling the end of this year's Muslims' pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kano began the flight to Saudi Arabia and also became the first state to return its pilgrims to Nigeria.
Kano State pilgrims were allotted two flights on the same day as the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) struggled to ensure that pilgrims returned home earlier, to reduce their hardship after the completion of the hajj rites.
Sokoto, Adamawa and Nasarawa States were also billed to begin the homeward journey from other zones just like Lagos from the South West.
The Head of NAHCON operations in Mecca, Dr Aliyu Tanko, confirmed this to NAN.
He said that the commission was working very hard to ensure that pilgrims returned home very quickly to reduce their hardship after the completion of the pilgrimage about a week ago.
He said the commission was also working to ensure that all pilgrims' luggage returned home on the same flights.
Tanko said the commission was strictly enforcing the 32 kg maximum main luggage and eight kg hand luggage per pilgrim.
Tanko advised pilgrims who wished to take excess luggage home to contact the cargo companies or the Saudi Post.
"We will take home only 32 kg boxes without any attachment and prepare the manifest for the luggage."
He urged the state pilgrim agencies to educate their pilgrims on the need to adhere to the maximum luggage weight, to reduce difficulties on their return home.