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Hajj Mabrur cautions pilgrims against illegal drugs

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[FILES] Hajj Pilgrims

Intending pilgrims for the 2019 hajj have been warned against trafficking contraband drugs such as cocaine, Tramadol, heroin and cannabis to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), gave this warning during the sensitization programme organized by Hajj Mabrur Ventures Limited to equip the intending pilgrims on the dos and don’ts of the journey.

The representative of NDLEA, Alhaji Mahlum warned Nigerian pilgrims to abstain from illegal drugs and other unlawful dealings, adding that “the lives of indicted pilgrims will not only be terminated, but such acts will also strain Saudi/Nigerian ties and damage the good reputation of Hajj Mabrur as one of the trusted Hajj and Umrah operators.

Musa mentioned kolanuts as one of the illegal items forbidden by the Saudi authorities despite its popularity among Nigerians, especially during traditional ceremonies.

Other personnel from the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), legal practitioners, members and executives of The Muslim Congress (TMC) and spiritual leaders enlightened pilgrims on dos and don’ts of the holy land.

The Naibul Amir, Cultural Affairs of TMC, Ustadh Sheriffdeen Ibrahim, noted that the Hajj exercise is a spiritual journey, which requires maximum preparation.

“Going for Hajj is answering the call made by Prophet Ibrahim. The journey is a spiritual one, which requires preparation. The best of preparation according to the Qur’an is piety.

“The call is a meeting with Allah and it’s time to purify your soul. We must get prepared fully in terms of knowledge by reading books on Hajj, gathering money and also arranging for food, which should not be in excess.

“Psychological preparation is also important. The mind must be ready for the various rites and obligations so as to maximize all rewards inherent in Hajj. Time management is also important. Know what to do, when to do and why doing them,” he said.

The Chief Superintendent of Customs (CSC), Alhaji A. B. Abdullah, also advised the intending pilgrims to stick to the rules and regulations surrounding the journey and ensure they guarantee the safety of their luggage.

During the inoculation exercise, the Medical Director of TSH, Dr Abdul Wasiu Busari, explained that the screening would aid the operations of the venture during the Hajj exercise.

He said the most likely challenge to be faced by pilgrims during the Hajj exercise are exhaustion, dehydration, medical complications and cough, adding that, “eight members of our team of medical personnel, among whom are doctors and pharmacists, will be detailed to attend to Hajj Mabrur pilgrims.”

According to Busari, exhaustion is one of the most prevalent. It occurs as a result of the rigorous nature of the Hajj activities because many pilgrims feel they must maximise all the rituals.

“Most times, you see pilgrims attempting to do more than their capacities. Some pilgrims have determined that they want to do 41 Tawaaf (circumbulation) for one day and they will always try to do that. By the second day, they are totally exhausted.

“Dehydration is also one of the most common health challenges. The weather is very hot in Saudi Arabia and because of that, pilgrims get dehydrated. If they don’t carry water with them, that would cause a lot of problems.

“Also, patients who have had some medical conditions before may have complications. If they have hypertension, diabetes, asthma and because of the crowd, there can be a lot of infections. Cough is also a common problem.

“But because of the vaccinations that we have already given to them, many of our pilgrims go hitch free without having some of these challenges. Notwithstanding, education must be continuous and giving information must occur from time to time. However, we are adequately prepared to take care of whatever challenges that may arise,” he assured.

The Managing Director of Hajj Mabrur Ventures Limited, Alhaji AbdulHameed Solate, noted that the training became necessary in order to acquaint the intending pilgrims with what to do and also what to abstain from so as to have a successful and hitch-free Hajj exercise.


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