By; ISHOLA O. EMMANUEL, Osogbo.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has urged the intending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia to pray for Nigeria and the state during the pilgrimage to the holy land.
The Governor, while speaking at the farewell programme for the 724 intending pilgrims at the Government Secretariat, Osogbo, said the economic challenges being experienced in the country requires the prayer of all and sundry, assuring that through intervention of God and sincerity of Nigerians, the country would bounce back.
According to the Governor, “Nigeria’s economic situation needs the prayers of all and sundry for us to survive this situation we are in today.
“I believe as you are going to the holy land, God will answer your prayers. So, I appeal to you to please remember Nigeria and the state of Osun in your prayers while you are in Saudi Arabia.
“With God all things are possible, we need to redirect our steps as a country and turn to God and be sincere as well. Nigeria can be great again”.
Speaking on the Hajj operations, Aregbesola described the journey to the holy land as one of the strong pillars of Islam which every Muslim should endevour to embark on, while urging them not to toil with any minute they will be spending at the holy land.
He saluted the effort of the 724 intending pilgrims for deciding to embark on the pilgrimage for this year despite the harsh economic.
He said it goes a long way to show their commitment in seeking spiritual rebirth which he governor noted as one of the essence of embarking on the spiritual journey.
Aregbesola said, “I want you to maximize every minute of your spiritual journey to the holy land and pray for yourselves and the growth of Nigeria.
“The holy land of Mecca is a place where whatever is asked from God shall be granted. I implore you to make use of every minute of the period you will be spending there to seek the face of God.
“I urge you to always maintain the ‘Omoluabi’ virtue which the state is known for while you are at the holy land”. The governor stated.
In a goodwill message, the Southwest Commissioner of the National Hajj Commission, Imam Fua’ad Adeyemi noted that the organisation of Hajj programmes in Osun is always commendable.
He explained that over the years Osun pilgrims have always stood out with good virtues while at the holy land, stressing that the pilgrims from Osun are always the cynosure of all eyes while at the holy land owing to their good characters, while charging them to continue in the same manner.
“I’m always amazed at the organisational qualities of Osun pilgrims every year because they are always decent in all their approach.
“Osun pilgrims have always come out top among pilgrims from Nigeria every year and I commend the governor for this because it couldn’t have been possible if not for the effort of the governor”
Earlier in a welcome address, the Amir Hajj for Osun, Mallam Dikhrulah Hassan commended the administration of Governor Aregbesola for the mature and organized manner which the Hajj programmes have taken in Osun.
He said that the governor has ordered that the pilgrims who will be embarking on the 6th Hajj operations under his administration be given grade A treatment while at the holy land, while adding that the pilgrims will be given an electronic wrist band for easy identification and recognition.
The Amir Hajj who stated that the pilgrims from Osun are among the two states that will be leaving with the first batch for this year, urged them to always portray the ‘Omoluabi’ virtues while at the holy land.
He stressed further that “this year’s Hajj is the sixth organised by the current administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola and you will agree with me that the coming on board of the administration has changed the performance of Hajj for good in the state of Osun.
“As part of preparation, pilgrims’ education and enlightenment were organised for the intending pilgrims for purpose of enlightening and educating them on the nitty-gritty of Hajj exercise.
“I also need to stress that throughout the country, Osun and Zamfara are the only two states that would first be airlifted and first to arrive back.
“Mr Governor needs to be commended because we have benefited immensely in terms of encouragement and taking directive from, towards a successful Hajj operations” the Amir Hajj stated.
By; ISHOLA O. EMMANUEL, Osogbo.