Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, on Sunday, advised intending pilgrims from the state to Saudi Arabia for the 2018 Hajj to be good and responsible ambassadors of Nigeria.
The governor also enjoined them to abide by the laws of their host country and shun acts that could bring their individual names, the image of the state and that of the country into disrepute.
The governor who gave the advice during a farewell ceremony organised for the 2018 intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia at the premises of the State Muslims Welfare Board, in Akure.
He congratulated the 119 pilgrims on the cherished opportunity provided them by Almighty Allah to fulfil one of the five pillars of Islam.
Akeredolu’s words, “Hajj pilgrimage is once in a year across the globe. Those of you who, by the grace of Almighty Allah, are privileged to observe this sacred duty must therefore do so with the fear of Allah.
“This will be evident in the manners at which you conduct yourselves from now till the time you return from the pilgrimage.
“Let me remind you of your obligations in the Holy Land. First of all, a good Muslim must concentrate on the observance of five times daily prayer and fervent supplications during his sojourn in the Holy Land.
“You should therefore not waste your precious time running after merchandise or engaging in trivial political arguments.
“You must resist the temptation of carrying hard drugs or prohibited goods to the Holy Land. The attributes of honesty and discipline which are enshrined in the Holy Quran must be conspicuously displayed in your performance of Hajj,” the governor added.
The governor, however, said his administration had initiated efforts aimed at promoting the general wellbeing and betterment of Muslim faithful in the state.
He added that his administration has provided the necessary support to the Muslim Welfare Board to ensure that befitting accommodation, feeding and transport arrangements both in Makkah and Madinah are made available for the pilgrims.