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Sanwo-Olu to Hajj pilgrims: Don’t get involved in criminal acts

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has cautioned intending pilgrims from Lagos State to shun all acts capable of bringing shame to themselves and the…

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has cautioned intending pilgrims from Lagos State to shun all acts capable of bringing shame to themselves and the state while in Saudi Arabia.

He specifically warned against going to the Holy Land with illicit drugs or undeclared currencies above 60,000 Riyal or $15,000, telling them that the Kingdom of Saudi is very tough in the implementation of their laws.

Sanwo-Olu represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kadir Obafemi Hamzat, spoke during a one-day seminar organised for over 3,588 intending pilgrims from the state as they prepare for their airlift which kicks off on June 4.

According to him, no fewer than 384 pilgrims were arrested in Saudi Arabia worldwide for committing one crime or the other during the last Hajj exercise in 2022.

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He said they should be focused on the purpose of the journey for their spiritual uplift and to become better Muslims, advising them to pray for the state and Nigeria as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu takes over the affairs of the nation.

The Deputy Governor who later spoke with newsmen said, “My instruction to them is to first of all understand it is a spiritual process.

“You don’t go inside the Mosque in Makkah or Madinah and your phone is ringing. It distracts others, it distracts you. People should be focused. Let’s also understand the rules of Saudi Arabia, don’t take unnecessary drugs. NDLEA has spoken to them.

“I also made mention of the fact that last year a certain number of people were arrested worldwide who came there with all sorts of contrabands. So people should be careful, they should be focused on what they are going to do and make Lagos proud.”

The Deputy Governor said the state has put in place all necessary arrangements to make the pilgrims’ stay a worthwhile one, saying, “One of the things the state government has done very well is to make sure that we get first class infrastructure across the state, buses air-conditioned; tents air-conditioned, in good location to make it easier for our people and it is well organised.”

A foremost preacher and Chief Missioner of Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria, Kano Branch, Sheikh Muhydeen Ajani Bello who delivered a lecture on ‘Procedure of Performing acceptable and rewarding Hajj’ advised the intending pilgrims to shun all acts of immorality in the Holy land.

He warned them against engaging in illegal amorous relationship with the opposite sex, adding, “You don’t go to Hajj and be arguing. Election is over in Nigeria, don’t go and be discussing politics. Be focused on the spiritual rites you are going to perform.”

He urged them to be prepared for the journey by seeking God’s forgiveness from all their misdeeds and commit to being better Muslims after the exercise.

Another lecturer, Prof. Qudus Amuni urged the pilgrims to optimize their stay in Madinah, the second holiest sites of Islam where they would go either before or after the Hajj in Makkah, saying going to Madina is not to go and be pricing Gold or for relaxation.

Chairman of the state Pilgrims Board, Imam Shakirudeen Gafar, said the sensitisation programme was designed to ensure the pilgrims do not run foul of the law in the Holy land and broaden their scope and understanding of the Hajj rites.

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