Ambode urges Hajj pilgrims to be Nigeria’s positive ambassadors

By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has urged intending pilgrims to this year’s hajj in Saudi Arabia to be good ambassadors of the state.  

He also admonished them to pray for the peace and progress of the state and the country while at the Holy Land. 

Represented by his Commissioner for Wealth Creation; Mr. Babatunde Durosimi-Etti at farewell briefing for the pilgrims, the governor said the state government has made adequate arrangement to ensure that the hajj operation is successful. 

He urged the pilgrims to avoid over crowded areas during their stay in the holy land to forestall any negative consequence, adding that members should strictly obey rules and regulation provided for them. 

The governor further explained that Lagos State pilgrims in previous hajj operations have shown good examples, stressing that the 2016 pilgrim members should maintain the standard or surpass it. 

In the same vein, the Deputy Governor Dr. Idiat Oluranti-Adebule called on the pilgrims to restrict their movement and go out only when it is necessary. 

She said: “We should work with the advice provided by the leaders of the pilgrims board.  We should not move unnecessarily about because we have been told that the weather over there may not be too clement. 

“Whatever information that we are privileged to have should be passed to others who are not present where the information was given, that is to say we should be our brothers’ keeper. 

“The government has put in place all that is needed to make the exercise worthwhile, I therefore crave your indulgence to justify government concern and interest in the exercise.

“I want to congratulate you all and thank God for endowing you with the present leaders in the state. I advise you all to follow all laid down procedures and take necessary cautions as you have been told,” she said. 

The South-West Commissioner of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCO) Imam Fuad Adeyemi said the Saudi authorities have complained that some of the pilgrims lack basic information on why they visit the holy land. 

“I want you to have it at your finger tips that it is a spiritual journey and not for any other purpose. That is why we are educating you today to acquaint you with what you should know about the journey. 

“There will be heat over there, therefore avoid over crowded areas. The authorities have complained to us that some of us don’t know why we visit Mecca. I pray that the Allah will protect us over there and we will all return to the country safely.”

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