…as Sanwo-Olu urges prayer for Nigeria
By Ishola balogun
The Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, has urged the intending pilgrims embarking on the 2023 holy pilgrimage through the state to pray for the country.
The governor made the plea in his keynote address at the One-Day Seminar organised by the State Muslim Pilgrims Board, at De- Blue Roof, Lagos Television, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Sunday.
Speaking through his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, the governor said the country is very much in need of prayers as she transit to another government on May 29.
He urged the intending pilgrims to pray for success of the in-coming administration of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The immediate past Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi announced that a total of 3,588 intending pilgrims would be performing the spiritual exercise through the state.
He also stated that the first batch would depart from Lagos to Madinah on Sunday 4th of June, through Flynas airline, a Saudi Arabia based airline, adding that the airline has been known for excellent service delivery over the years.
While informing the gathering that the Governor has approved the sum of 100 Saudi Riyal for each of the intending pilgrims for their Ihram clothe, Elegushi urged them to reciprocate the kind gesture by praying for the success of the Governor and his deputy in their second term in office.
Speaking on the efforts put in place towards ensuring a hiitch-free exercise, he said that a befitting accommodation had been secured for them within a working distance from the Haram in Makkah.
He stressed further that each of the intending pilgrims is entitled to a Basic Travelling Allowance (BTA) of 800 US dollars while the cost of Hadiyah ram and ziyyarah of historical sites have been factored into the Hajj fare paid the pilgrims.
Delivering lecture on the topic, ‘Procedures of performing acceptable and rewarding Hajj’, the Guest Lecturer, Sheikh Muhydeen Ajani Bello, Chief Missioner, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Kano Branch, advised the intending pilgrims to make the fear of God as a priority in their preparation for the spiritual journey to the holy land.
Sheikh Bello who was corroborated by Prof. AbdulQudus Amuni of the Lagos State University (LASU) urged the intending pilgrims to obey the rules and regulations guiding the operation and shun any acts that are inimical to the teachings of Islam.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Board Chairman, Imam (Engr.) Shakiru Ayinde Gafar, appreciated the Governor and his deputy for their unflinching support towards a seamless and comfortable Hajj experience for the intending pilgrims.
He also extended his gratitude to the immediate past Commissioner for Home Affairs; Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic matters; Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Lolade Aina and others for their remarkable contributions to operation, praying Allah to reward them in manifolds.
Speaking on the welfare packages for the pilgrims in the holy land, the immediate past Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic matters, Alh. Ahmad Abdullahi Jebe gave assurances that the welfare of the pilgrims would be given topmost priority.