By Ola Ajayi
IBADAN—UNPERTURBED by avalanche of criticisms against his re-election, Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State told intending pilgrims to this year’s hajj to vote for him in order to enjoy more of his administration’s support for them.
He said this at the send-off programme held at the Hajj camp, Olodo area of Ibadan, for the intending pilgrims from the state who are 1,500 including men and women.
Governor Akala said if the 1,500 intending pilgrims could convince at least one person each to vote for him come 2011, muslims in the state would still enjoy more largesse from his government.
Akala said, “If these 1,500 and another 1,500 that will be going to Jerusalem bring along 10 each to vote for us, then we will be here again next year to do this kind of programme for another set.
He urged them to pray earnestly for the country, especially the state so that lasting peace would reign.
“As you are going to the holy land, pray for the peaceful co-existence of the country and that of the state. Pray for us to return to power in the next election and encourage another 10 people to vote for us in the election.”
He advised them to be good ambassadors of the state and that they should remember the sons of whom they are.
According to him, “when you get there, you are no more on your own. You carry the image of the state. Do not spoil the name of Oyo state. Make sure you don’t engage in any activity that will tarnish the good image of the state”.
Advising them further, he said they should not rush to buy things as he restated that the purpose for which they were going was not for shopping but to seek the face of Allah.
“You are there to pray not for shopping. Since you are billed to visit places, early shopping could give you heavy loads that will be difficult to carry about,” he said.
The first batch of the pilgrims, according to Lukman Busari, the Chairman of Pilgrim Welfare Board (muslim wing) for the state, would be airlifted on Wednesday.