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Edo, Bauchi governors charge pilgrims to pray for peace, prosperity

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Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has charged Muslim pilgrims participating in the 2019 Hajj to pray for peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.

His Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed, also charged the 1,985 pilgrims in the state to pray against poverty and unemployment.While inspecting the newly-built Hajj Camp in Benin City yesterday, Obaseki said, “I call on pilgrims to pray for our people in Edo State, pray for Nigeria and our president, for the security challenges we experience in the country not to destabilise the nation.”

He urged the pilgrims to continue praying for his administration, adding that some persons who are not happy with its developmental strides over the past two years were threatening the peace in the state.

Chairman of Edo Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Sheikh Ibrahim Oyarekhua, appreciated the governor for spreading developmental projects across the state, including the Hajj Camp, which he described as the first government project in the camp for over 50 years.

Governor Mohammed of Bauchi said his government had made adequate arrangement for their welfare, safety, accommodation and transportation, while calling on them to be good ambassadors of the state during their stay in Saudi Arabia.Giving the charge during his farewell message to the pilgrims yesterday, Mohammed announced that he had approved a N20,000 subsidy on the Hajj fare for each of the 1,985 pilgrims who would be airlifted this night to Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has advised Nigerian pilgrims to take personal safety seriously due to the recent outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-Cov) disease, a deadly airborne viral infection with no known vaccine or cure, often spread through close contact with an infected person.

NAHCON’s head of Public Affairs Unit, Fatima Usara, advised pilgrims to regularly maintain good personal hygiene to avoid contracting the disease.

Usara said: “Sequel to a World Health Organisation (WHO)’s recent disclosure in Geneva that 14 cases of the viral infection had been recorded, pilgrims are advised to add their personal safety measures in protecting themselves. One of the ways of doing this is by always covering their noses and mouths with surgical masks, especially in large congregations.”


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