IBADAN—ABOUT 1,618 intending pilgrims to Mecca from Oyo State have been advised to shun all acts that could dent the image of the state.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi gave the advice Wednesday in Ibadan at the Hajj camp, Olodo. The governor, according to a statement by his senior Special Assistant on Public Communication, Dr. Festus Adedayo, specifically warned the intending pilgrims to refrain from getting involved in drug related businesses.
Senator Ajimobi urged the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state in particular, and the nation in general, and try as much as possible to avoid social vices that would not bring glory to the state.
He urged them to abide by the laws of the holy land by making cleanliness and maintenance of healthy environment their watchword.
The governor, while stressing the need for the intending pilgrims to be godly than being religious, advised them to pray fervently for the peace and progress of the state.
He asked them to pray for God’s intervention in the security challenges which the nation is currently facing.
“You must be Godly than being religious. To be Godly is different from being religious; if you are merely religious, you may not be able to serve wholeheartedly,” he said.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the state Pilgrims Welfare Board, Muslim Wing, Alhaji Taofeek Akeugbagold, had said that the first batch of the pilgrims, comprising 505 intending pilgrims, would depart the state today (Wednesday) for the holy land while the second and the last batches would leave on 11th and 17th October respectively.
Alhaji Akeugbagold commended Governor Ajimobi’s support, both moral and financial, towards the success of this year’s Hajj operations, pointing out that wide-bodied aircraft – Boeing 747 – would be used for the airlifting of the state contingent in three flights.