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•••As First Batch Departs May 18


Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has urged intending pilgrims departing for the 2024 pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia to represent the state with dignity and uphold its values as they embark on their spiritual journey.

The governor’s call came as the first batch of pilgrims is set to depart the Nigeria on May 18, while the second batch would be airlifted from Nigeria on May 19, has gathered.

Governor Seyi Makinde in his address at the farewell ceremony held at BCOS open feild, Bashorun, Ibadan on Wednesday, emphasized the importance of showcasing the rich moral values of Oyo state to the rest of the world.He urged the pilgrims to foster goodwill and promote peaceful coexistence among themselves during their Hajj regardless of the part of the state they all came from.

He encouraged the pilgrims to make the most of their journey by engaging in introspection, prayer, and acts of kindness and most importantly, be each others brother’s keeper throughout the exercise.

Furthermore, Makinde assured the pilgrims of the state government’s support throughout their pilgrimage, ensuring their safety and welfare as paramount to his government.

Makinde also emphasized the need for strict adherence to safety protocols and guidelines at the holy land as may be directed or instructed by the Leadership of the Pilgrims Welfare Board.

Addressing the leadership of the Board, Makinde said: “The welfare of our people in the holy land can not be compromised so, you must adequately look after every Pilgrim from Oyo state.”

While commending the chairman of the Pilgrims Welfare Board, Sheikh Wahab Olamide Atere for doing what he described as a good job with the organization and coordination of the 2024 Hajj, Makinde said this year’s pilgrimage has superseded all previous ones.

While reacting to criticism against his government from some quarters, Makinde said he would not join issues with those merely seeking his attention stressing that his government is more focused and busy with improving the welfare and well-being of the people of Oyo state than reacting to needless distractions.

Addressing the intending 1,070 Oyo state Pilgrims, Makinde stressed the need to follow directives and instructions urging them to also shun behaviors and conducts capable of projecting the state in bad light in Saudi Arabia.

The Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdulganiy Agbotomokekere, Professor K. K. Olosho, Chief Adebayo Oyero, and other Muslim leaders from other parts of the state including the League of Imams and Alfas in attendance lauded Makinde for his unprecedented commitments towards the welfare and well-being of Muslim community in the state.

Sheikh Wahab Olamide Atere, Chairman, Oyo State Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Board, in his welcome address expressed gratitude to Governor Makinde for always giving prompt considerations and approvals to requests pertaining issues affecting the welfare of the Muslim community.

While speaking on the preparation on ground for the intending Pilgrims, Atere said: “This Board had secured a befitting accommodation very close to Haram for the pilgrims.”

“Am delighted to inform Your Excellencies that local meals have been included in the menu list for our pilgrims. It is also worthy of mentioning that all arrangements have been made to make accommodation check-in easy for our pilgrims in Makkah.”

“We have indicated their hotel and room number in each pilgrim’s identity card to be worn right from lbadan. This is an unprecedented treat in the history of this Board. All our pilgrims have been granted Hajj Visas with no exception.”

“It is to be noted that Oyo State is the first Sate the in the Southwest and the second State in the country, to have all pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within the first week of the commencement airlifting for Hajj.” He said.

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