Lagos state government yesterday cautioned its pilgrims against running fouls of laws in Saudi Arabia.
Deputy Governor Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat urged them to be good ambassadors and shun any act capable of portraying the state and country in bad light.
The 1,562 pilgrims and officials will embark on the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia
Speaking at a seminar/prayers for the pilgrims at LTV Blue-Roof, Agidingbi, Hamzat admonished them to comport themselves in good manners, represent the country very well and focus on the spiritual exercise they are going for.
“You are ambassadors of Lagos State and Nigeria. When you get to the Holy Land, let them see that you are of good conduct and display understanding of the religion. You should not fight but focus on the spiritual benefits you stand to gain from the pilgrimage,” he said.
He enjoined them to pray for the peace and progress of the country, saying that it is only in a peaceful atmosphere that there can be development and growth.
He also urged them to pray for the success of the All Progressive Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the 2023 presidential election, noting that any good nation must have a good leader to develop.
Commissioner for Home Affairs Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi appealed to all those that could not make it to the hajj this year due to the inadequate slots, to take heart and see the situation as the wish of Allah.
He however prayed Allah preserve their lives beyond next year when they shall have another opportunity.
“I rejoice with our intending pilgrims for being counted by Allah amongst those that will perform the Hajj this year. While many could not make it as a result of financial incapability, some who struggled to pay the increment were not accommodated because of the limited space available to us. The situation we found ourselves is a great attestation to the general belief that ‘Hajj is a call by Allah’. It has shown that no matter how wealthy you may be, if He does not call you, you will not answer the call,” he said.
Southwest Coordinator of National Hajj Commission (NAHCON), Alhaja Basirat Akintunde, congratulated the pilgrims who are fortunate to be among those who will be performing this year’s Hajj.
“If Saudi decides to give Nigeria more slots today, people are ready to buy. So those of you that are fortunate to get the Hajj slot should maximise it and use it judiciously by engaging in worship,” she said.
This year’s hajj, she said, was an emergency hajj due to the impact of COVID-19 and short period of time available to prepare for the holy exercise.
Alhaja Akintunde urged intending pilgrims to exercise perseverance to acquire the rewards promised by Allah to those who observe the fifth pillars of Islam.