Be good ambassadors in holy land, Lagos tells intending pilgrims
THE Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, has urged intending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia to be good ambassadors of the state in particular and Nigeria in general and be law abiding in all their deeds and conducts in the holy land.
Elegushi made the plea while speaking with newsmen after the airlift of the first batch of the state’s intending pilgrims to Madinah.
The pilgrims left the shores of Nigeria through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) at 11.45 p.m. aboard the aircraft of a Saudi Arabia-based airline, Flynas. The first batch comprised of 170 males and 260 females.
The commissioner, according to a statement by the Assistant Director (Public Affairs), Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Taofeek Lawal, expressed gratitude to Allah that after two consecutive years of break in Hajj operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, international pilgrims could partake in the spiritual exercise again.
Elegushi gave the assurance that the airlifting exercise would be vigorously pursued as scheduled by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), stressing that the airline would be carrying out the airlift back to back to ensure the completion of the exercise before the end of the week.
He said everything was in order and the pilgrims were happy.
On his part, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Matters, Alhaji Ahmad Jebe, said as a proactive state, Lagos had equipped its pilgrims for the spiritual exercise through lectures and other engagements.
He said the state had put everything in place to ensure the pilgrims’ comfort in the holy land.
The chairman of the state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Shakir Gafar, stressed that the intending pilgrims had been adequately sensitised about the dos and don’ts in respect of Hajj.
He said the state had fortified the pilgrims by inviting Federal Government agencies such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Immigration Service to enlighten them on what to be taken along and the prohibited items.
He said the most important item to be taken along should be the fear of Allah.
The South-West Commissioner of NAHCON, Alhaja Basirat Akintunde, expressed joy about the airlifting, saying everything was going as planned.
She said a few challenges that came up in the course of the exercise were being surmounted.
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