1,353 Lagos pilgrims now in Saudi Arabia
Urge pilgrims to pray for the nation
Lagos State Government has successfully airlifted 1,353 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the 2017 hajj exercise. The Honourable Commissioner for Home Affairs and Amir Ul-Hajj, 2017, Dr. Abdul Hakeem Abdul-Lateef disclosed this while giving an update on this year’s hajj operations.
According to him, the pilgrims have been successfully housed in their respective hotels in Medina and activities of the holy pilgrimage have commenced in earnest.He pointed out that pilgrims from other continents could not hide their feelings in view of the way Nigerian pilgrims have conducted themselves during their visit to the prophet’s Mosque and other important places that form part of the hajj exercise.
Dr. Lateef advised the pilgrims not to hold items on behalf of any other pilgrim, adding that the punishment for drug trafficking in the Middle East is death.He added that the pilgrims have begun visitation to historical sites in Medina, some of the places visited included Masjid Nabawi (Prophet Mosque), Raudotul Jannah, the site of the graves of prophet Muhammed, Abu Bakr and Umar.
Lagos Pilgrims are currently receiving lectures and sensitization at designated hotels on the importance of Zihara in the course of performing hajj.Lagos intending Pilgrims are advised to be fully ready for the journey by following strictly the laid down rule and regulations for the journey on the Board preparation to airlift the remaining pilgrims any moment from now.
The Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Muftau Okoya, rolled out the flight schedule, saying: “The first one, a Boeing 747 will airlift 460 pilgrims, while a Boeing 767 will airlift 220 pilgrims,”
Okoya said, adding that a total of 1,195 pilgrims would be airlifted from Lagos State.He disclosed that the second flight of Lagos departed Muritala International Airport at about 12:09 pm with 221 intending pilgrims from Amuwo-Odofin, Eti-Osa, Ojo/Badagry, Apapa and some members of the medical team.”The exercise was smooth and arrangement has been completed to move another 220 pilgrims on the third flight on Monday 7th, August, 2017 to Saudi Arabia.
“Third batch landed safely and arrived Madinah safely.The occupants were housed in three hotels(Dar Al-Salam Al-Anfalus Hotel,Riadh Alzahra Hotel)The fourth batch of Lagos Pilgrims on board Medview flt VL3138 Lagos to Jeddah which left Lagos at 20:11hrs on Tuesday with 452 Lagos pilgrims landed safely in KSA around 5am Nigeria time”, he said.
Okoya said The intending pilgrims of Lagos State has been advised to be law abiding, abide by the teachings of Islam and follow the rudiment of Islam to justify the up-to-date sensitization and lectures given them at seminars organized across the 20 local governments of the state.He emphasised the need for the pilgrims to follow strictly the rules and regulations of the holy pilgrimage.
According to him, “where there is no law, there will be no sin”, hence the pilgrims must follow to the letter the laws of the country and that of Saudi Arabia in other to enjoy the benefit of hajj exercise “.
“Be patient, obedient and use the opportunity of this spiritual exercise to pray for Lagos State and the President of Nigeria. There are only two States in Nigeria, Lagos State and others”, he reiterated.
He explained that this Year Hajj operation has been successful though but it is not without some challenges, which to a large extent has been addressed.“In any Hajj operation there are always challenges that must be overcome. “We planned well for this operation but “man proposes and God disposes. God is the best planner, so whatever happen in the course of the Year 2017 Hajj operation, let us take it in good faith”, he said.