From Paul Orude, Bauchi
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Saad Abubakar III, has commissioned an ultra-modern Hajj camp in Bauchi State.
The Hajj camp which has accommodation facilities, an international conference centre and a hospital among other amenities, was built at the cost of N658 million by the administration of Governor Bala Mohammed.
The Sultan thanked Governor Mohammed for constructing the ultra-modern Hajj camp, which would be used by both Muslims and Christians during the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and Israel for religious purposes.
Speaking on Monday during the commissioning of the Hajj camp named after him, the Sultan called on leaders to be just to their constituents in order o enjoy divine blessings.
He added that the current crisis in the country calls for urgent action by the concerned authorities in order to restore the confidence of Nigerians.
‘Leadership has been bestowed on us by Allah, He expects us to be just, fair and equitable to all,’ the Sultan said. ‘We should know that one day we will all give an account of our stewardship in the hereafter.
‘It is incumbent on us as leaders to discharge our responsibility to the best of our ability; the followers are looking up to us for effective leadership. That is what we have to do in order to make the country better.’
Sa’ad Abubakar III reiterated the need to promote peace and peaceful co-existence in the country.
He argued that it is only in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity that development and progress could be made possible.
‘If you see how we relate during our interfaith meeting, you will understand the essence of peace and peaceful co-existence. Peace is what is needed to make things work out and progress made,’ he said.
He also warned journalists against publishing fake news that can further fuel embers of disunity among the people.
The Sultan argued that people always believed in what they hear or read in the media, especially social media.
Earlier in his address, Governor Mohammed stressed the importance of religious harmony, saying that Bauchi was enjoying religious harmony as the relationship between adherents of the two major religions in the country are living as brothers.
Mohammed said that the camp is not meant for Muslims alone, saying that Christians too are free to use the facility.
He stressed that it would be put to effective usage because it would not be allowed to remain unused.
‘Even the temporary camp we have in the town is used by both Muslims and Christians, this facility too will be used by our Christians brothers anytime they are going to Israel so that their movement will be facilitated and allowed to use all the facilities available in the camp, that is the reason we have the multipurpose hall here for their religious activities,’ he said.
‘We are doing this just as Bishop Hillary has said, the resources we spent here is for the people of Bauchi State from the Federal Government of Nigeria. We know that Sultan is a man who is fostering unity in the country, we, therefore, need this kind of edifice as a symbol of unity”, the Governor said.
He disclosed that the camp was constructed at a moderate cost of N658 million with all the facilities it contained and was designed and done by one of the best Engineers in the country.
Governor Mohammed assured that all the observations of the National Hajj Commission will be considered in order to ensure that the camp was put to use throughout the year for activities as the hall can take up to 1000 people at the same time.
The Governor further said that the camp will be put to commercial use in order to make itself sustaining in order to allow government free resources for other purposes of development in the state based on the advice of the NAHCON.
In his remarks, Chairman/CEO of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Zikrullah Olakunle Hassan commended the Bauchi State Government for having one of the best hajj camps in the country.
Represented by the National Commissioner in charge of Operations, Abdullahi Magaji Hardawa, the NAHCON Chairman said that with the camp close to the airport, logistics support and other activities during the hajj operation will be made easier.
Olakunle Hassan then advised the state government to put the camp into effective use so that it will not be closed immediately after the hajj operation every year opining that it can be used as a source of revenue for the state.