President Muhammadu Buhari has departed the country for lesser hajj in Saudi Arabia.
Lesser hajj, popularly known as “umrah” in the Muslim community, is an optional but recommended pilgrimage to Makkah that can be made at any time of the year.
The aircraft conveying the president and members of his entourage took-off from the airport around 11am on Thursday, according to NAN.
Buhari’s trip followed his invitation by Salman Bin Abdulaziz, king of Saudi Arabia and custodian of the two holy mosques.
Garba Shehu, senior special assistant on media and publicity, had earlier confirmed that Buhari would perform lesser hajj while in the Kingdom.
Among those who bade the president farewell at the airport were Abba Kyari, his chief of staff; Mohammed Bello, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT); and Muhammed Adamu, acting inspector general of police.
The last ‘umrah’ Buhari performed was in February 2016.