By Adeola Badru
IBADAN-JUST as the 2019 pilgrims from Oyo State to Saudi Arabia have been bid farewell, Governor Seyi Makinde has warned them to shun illicit acts while on the holy pilgrimage.
The governor, while speaking at the farewell ceremony held at the state’s Hajj camp, Olodo, Ibadan, on Wednesday, he urged the intending pilgrims to shun illicit and prohibited items such as drugs and kolanut.
He warned that they should resist all forms of temptations that ran contrary to the aims and objectives of performing the Hajj.
Noting the death penalty that awaited such offenders in Saudi Arabia, the governor admonished the 900 intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state.
Makinde then reiterated his administration’s resolve to ensure that the state’s pilgrims begin to be airlifted from the Ibadan Airport, Alakia, in the nearest future, while urging them to pray at the holy land of Mecca for Allah to direct the nation’s leaders to lead aright.
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In his remarks, the Aare Musulumi of Yoruba land, Alhaji Dawud Akinola who is to lead the Oyo State delegation to Hajj, assured of an open-door policy for all pilgrims throughout their stay in Saudi Arabia.
In the same vein, Chairman, Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim wing), Professor Sayed Malik, while speaking, assured that plans were in place to ensure the safe airlifting to and fro of the pilgrims.
Present at the farewell ceremony was the wife of Oyo governor, Mrs Omini Makinde; wife of the deputy governor, Mrs Bose Olaniyan; Chief Imam of Ibadan land, Sheik Abdulganiy Abubakri; Head, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, Professor Kamil Oloso; South West Commissioner of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Sheik Adeyemi Fuad.