By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos – As the 2018 intending pilgrims from Plateau State get set to depart to Saudi Arabia, the State Governor, Simon Lalong has warned them against absconding but ask that they conduct themselves as worthy ambassadors of the State and continue to pray for peace and progress of the State.
Lalong who addressed the 815 intending pilgrims at the farewell ceremony held Monday in Jos also tasked them that their spiritual depth of conviction must be reflected in the pious conduct of the exercise, all through the performance of the pilgrimage in the Holy land.
He urged them to observe all rules and regulations put in place to ensure a hitch-free pilgrimage stressing his administration would continue to ensure justly deal with all citizens of the State.
According to him, “The case of defections and abscondment of Pilgrims would not be heard of amongst our State contingents, because of the enviable records we have now attained in the conduct of this exercise and we must make every effort to maintain. I urge you to ensure you observe all the rules and regulations put in place to make this year’s pilgrimage hitch-free, while also dutifully abiding by the laws of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“I am well informed that a total number of 815 intending pilgrims have completed the necessary requirements and will be making the State contingent to the Holy land this year. This I have been briefed is comprised of 300 State sponsored, 150 Local Government and 365 self-sponsored pilgrims.
“I am happy that notwithstanding the dwindling economic fortune and competing demand of Governments lean resources, Government has been able to clear the backlog and resume sponsorship which was suspended for two years to allow for necessary adjustment. This you will agree is a statement of purpose concerning our Rescue Administrations resolve to deal justly with all citizens in the State.”
He further assured the Muslim community that, “Government is still committed to carrying out the renovation on the already acquired property with a wide expanse of land in the Rikkos New Layout, to serve as the Moslem Pilgrims Welfare Board Permanent Office as well as a Transit Camp for our intending Moslem Pilgrims.
“The Rescue Government is hopeful that our dwindling fortunes will in the no distant future improve, as we sustain our prayers and intensify the exploitation of our revenue yielding potentials in all critical sectors of the economy, so that resources will abound in the hands of citizens for future self sponsorship.”