IN a rare gesture ever granted to any Head of State, President Muhammadu Buhari was early yesterday granted access to the Holy Ka’aba in Makkah, where he offered prayers for the peace and progress of the country.
The President, who was granted access to the Holy Ka’aba along with members of his entire delegation from Nigeria, observed the weekly Juma’at prayers at the Holy Mosque in continuation of his week-long visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Amidst heavy presence of Saudi security, the President and his entourage made their way into the inner chambers of the Ka’aba as many Nigerians resident in the country lined up along their route and shouted, “Allah ya tamakaika” meaning, “may God assist you”, “Sa’i Baba”, and “Welcome Baba Buhari”, among other slogans.
The entrance of the President and his entourage into the Grand Mosque was at the instance of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia as a mark of respect for the visiting Nigerian leader.
The King, who is also the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah, ordered the opening of the Ka’aba for President Buhari and some members of his entourage around 1.45a.m. (local time) yesterday.
Among those in the President’s entourage to the mosque were the governors of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari; Borno, Kashim Shettima; Osun, Rauf Aregbesola; Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun; and Katsina, Aminu Masari.
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II; Oba of Lagos, Alhaji Rilwan Akiola; Emir of Maradun, Alhaji Mohammed Garba Tambari; and Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Haliru Momoh were also in the President’s entourage.
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