Friday, 22nd September 2023

Intending pilgrims depart Lagos for Saudi Arabia on Sunday

By Shakirah Adunola
07 April 2023   |   4:08 am
No fewer than 200 intending Pilgrims from Lagos State will depart Nigeria for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform the 2023/1444 A. H. Umrah (lesser hajj) exercise.

[FILES] Pilgrims performing hajj

No fewer than 200 intending Pilgrims from Lagos State will depart Nigeria for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform the 2023/1444 A. H. Umrah (lesser hajj) exercise.

This was disclosed by the Hon. Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, during a One-Day Seminar organised by the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board for the intending pilgrims, at the Shamsi Adisa Thomas (SAT) Mosque Hall, old Secretariat, Ikeja, on Wednesday.

Represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Matters, Alh. Ahmad Abdullahi Jebe, the Commissioner stated that the intending pilgrims would be departing for the lesser hajj in three batches.

According to him, the first batch would depart on Sunday April 9, the second leaves on Monday, April 10, while the third batch would depart on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. He emphasized that the departure dates are in line with the schedule of the foreign airlines that would convey.

Jebe told the intending pilgrims who turned out in large numbers for the seminar to adequately prepare for the journey, adding that the State Government had secured their visas from the Saudi Arabian Embassy, traveling tickets from Qatar and Ethiopian airlines as well as insurance document.

He urged those whose yellow card is still valid to take it along, while those who don’t have it should endeavour to procure theirs without further delay, adding that the yellow card which usually has a validity period of 10 years is very important for international travellers.

While encouraging them to be patient with the officials during the exercise, Elegushi told them that adequate arrangement had been made for their accommodation and transportation.

He said that green, blue and purple cards have been produced to differentiate and categorise the hotels they would stay in the Kingdom based on the package they paid for. He, however, advised them to abide by the arrangement so as to achieve a smooth operation.

In his welcome remark, the Board Chairman, Engr. (Imam) Shakiru Ayinde Gafar, wished the intending pilgrims journey mercy and urged them to be good ambassadors of the state while in the Holy land.

He also encouraged them to pray for the success of the administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat; President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as well as Nigeria in general.

Highlight of the seminar was a lecture on the significance and the requirements for an acceptable Umrah which was delivered by the Chairman, League of Ulamah (Hajj clerics) Alh. Muhsin Ajagbemokeferi and health talk presented by Dr. Fausat Dabiri, a Board member representing Lagos division.

Some of the eminent personalities present at the occasion were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Lolade Aina; Board members among whom are Alh. Mojeed Sanni (Ikorodu division), Alh. Yusuf Ara (Epe), Hon. AbdulWaheed Lolade Shonibare(Ikeja division) and the Board Secretary, Mr. Saheed Olayiwola Onipede.