Hajj pilgrimage: Oyo Gov’t urges pilgrims to be good ambassadors 

The Oyo state government has urged intending Muslim pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the mandatory Hajj to be a good ambassador and shun all vices capable of bringing disrepute to the image of the state and Nigeria while in the holy land.

This was as Governor Seyi Makinde who was represented by his deputy, Barrister Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Lawal, also urged them to comply strictly with laid down guidelines of Oyo state Muslim pilgrims board. 

Lawal, who gave the advice on Saturday at the state Hajj camp, Olodo in Ibadan, during the dedication service for the state intending pilgrims, noted that in Yorubaland, Oyo state is the first state and first set airlift to the holy land (Mecca), and that on the 29th of this month, the pilgrims will start moving to the hajj as part of Oyo state government’s efforts to make things more convenient. 

He counselled the pilgrims to pray for Oyo state government, sustenance of peace in the country, portraying the image of Nigeria positively and resolve to be good ambassadors of the country.

He equally advised them to comport themselves well and also improve more on their character and ways of life as they journey for worship saying that any act that’s unpleasant shouldn’t be associated with them. 

The deputy governor emphasized that everyone should have a clean intention to be able to perform the hajj work in order to receive a bountiful reward from Allah and that the Hajj period is not a time for one to engage in illicit business transactions, cautioning the pilgrims to abstain from any dangerous weapons, any materials, or cocaine that could implicate them in the holy land.

He added that Sharia law, not common law, is applied in Mecca and that anyone found guilty of any infraction will face heavy consequences and punishment. 

“As a government, we don’t want you to do anything that could get you into trouble, and you should never forget that you are from Oyo state and Nigeria. 

“Therefore, you must act as a decent representative and maintain the good name of Oyo state. 

“On behalf of Governor Seyi Makinde, I need to assure you that we will continue to give our support as a government.”

Lawal, who noted that there has been a turnaround of the Hajj camp administrative blocks under Governor Seyi Makinde, added that before next Arafat, there would be a finished construction and befitting environment. 

He mentioned that the Oyo state government has approved the road construction leading to the hajj camp, assuring that the Olodo camp will be among the best camps in the country. 

While emphasizing the importance of the hajj task, he urged the pilgrims to exercise more patience and follow any instructions given by the hajj pilgrim board as the state government had put in place sufficient preparations to make their hajj easier.

Earlier in their separate remarks, Former Oyo Hajj pilgrimage board chairman Professor Abdul Malik and the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Delta, and Edo states said that Oyo state was the least expensive for the hajj pilgrimage as Governor Seyi Makinde didn’t want to burden anyone. 

They commended the governor for not adding to the Hajj amount, describing him as a blessing to the Muslim community. 

They also lauded the deputy governor for his humility and the way he had been able to humble himself, stating that it was his good character that had led to his appointment as the Oyo state’s deputy governor. 

They emphasized Bayo Lawal’s ability to effectively use his position to advance the welfare of the Muslim community and urged the pilgrims to continue praying for governor Makinde, Oyo State, and the country as a whole, noting that a peaceful country is in the best interests of its citizens. 

In attendance include professor Babatunde; Chairman Civil Service commission; Alhaji Kamorudeen Aderibigbe; Alhaji Adanla, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Abdul Azeez, members of Peoples Democratic Party, among others.

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