Osun State governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola has cautioned the 2011 intending Hajj pilgrims from the state, to be patient and be good ambassadors of the state, by displaying sense of responsibilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The governor gave the admonition in Osogbo, the state capital, during the valedictory service for the 1,020 intending pilgrims from the state, out of which 200 were sponsored by the state government.
He stated that the government had setup a team of 18 medical personnel to take adequate care of the pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while drugs that would be used for all the pilgrims have been purchased, with a view to ensuring that all pilgrims are given adequate attention.
As part of special package for the sponsored pilgrims and all intending pilgrims from the state, the government, he said, had distributed Iramcoat, Compact Disc for Hajj rites, short prayer books for Tawaf, including a book on how to go about Hajj operations to all pilgrims from the state.
He further stated that a committee for discipline would be setup to correct whoever is running against the laid down rules and regulations.
He stated that the journey for Hajj by the pilgrims is the top of tests for Muslim faithful, preaching that they should be patient as preached by Holy Quran, just as he stated that all arrangements had been concluded, to make the journey easy for the pilgrims.
In his address, the Commissioner for Home Affairs and Tourism, Mr. SikiruAyedun disclosed that this year’s Hajj operation was a unique one, starting from the selection of the state-sponsored pilgrims, because there was a big departure from the sordid preparations of the past, saying that all nominees cut across all major central mosques in the 30 local government council areas of the state, including Ife East Area Office, Modakeke.
He noted that 95 percent of the pilgrims’ passports with visas have been processed and collected by the pilgrims’ board from Saudi Embassy, saying that processing on the rest of the pilgrims have been commenced and would be ready very soon.
Advising the pilgrims to adhere strictly to the rules and regulations of Hajj in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, Ayedun noted that the pilgrims from the state would spend maximum of 45 days in Saudi Arabia with effect from their date of departure from Lagos.
Commending the governor for his effort in ensuring that the journey is successful, the commissioner also noted that no administration has achieved what the present administration had achieved, which he described as enviable and laudable in the development of the state.