File photo: Hajj pilgrims boarding a plane

The first batch of 495 Katsina state pilgrims has left Makkah to Jeddah en route Nigeria.

Malam Badaru Bello, the Public Relations Officer of Katsina State Pilgrims Welfare Board, made this known in an interview with journalists in Makkah on Saturday.

He said the plane to transport the pilgrims was expected to arrive from Nigeria tonight, though he did not mention specific time as to the scheduled departure and arrival time of the plight in Nigeria.

He said that all the pilgrims scheduled for departure to Nigeria were in good health and high spirit, adding; “ we thank God that we have started transporting our pilgrims back to Nigeria in good time”.

The second flight is expected to depart Saudi Arabia to Katsina on Monday, Aug 19.