Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, on Sunday, bade farewell to the 430 first batch of pilgrims from the state to Saudi Arabia.
Bagudu, in his farewell remark at Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport, Birnin Kebbi, urged the pilgrims to fervently pray for peace and an end to the insecurity and other challenges facing the country while in the Holy Land.
He said,” You should pray for yourselves as well as the urgent restoration of peace and security in all parts of the country.
“Please also pray for the success of President Muhammadu Buhari to continue with the good works he is doing for Nigeria.
“Please also pray against the recurrence of obnoxious health challenges that stopped the performance of hajj by international pilgrims like COVID-19.”
Bagudu also announced that the state government had made adequate arrangements to ensure the security, welfare and comfort of the pilgrims, both in Nigeria and in the Holy Land.
He urged them to jealously guard their Basic Traveling Allowance ( BTA), as well as all forms of identification while in Saudi Arabia.
He also urged the intending Pilgrims to pray for bumper harvest as the country witnesses the beginning of rainy season.
The governor, however, thanked the Minister of Justice and Attorney- General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, (SAN) for accepting to serve as the State Amirul Hajj .
Earlier, Malami, who is also the state Amirul Hajj, commended the state government for reposing tremendous confidence in them as the state’s Hajj Committee.
Malami informed the intending pilgrims that the committee set up by the state government comprised all types of professionals and technocrats to diligently take care of them, both in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
The minister also appealed to them to guard their BTA and travel documents,especially their international passports.
He also called on the intending pilgrims to desist from taking all prohibited items and illicit drugs, warning,” the punishment for drugs peddling in Saudi Arabia is nothing,but death.”
Malami commended Bagudu for the tremendous development the state has recorded particularly in the rice value chain and area of investment.
The Chairman of the Pilgrims Welfare Agency, Alhaji Haruna Maitandu, also lauded Bagudu for making all the necessary arrangements for the welfare and comfort of the intending pilgrims both in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
He thanked the governor for providing necessary financial and moral support to the agency in order to ensure smooth conduct of the exercise.
“The maiden flight of 430 intending pilgrims of the state who boarded Airbus A340 plane comprised those from Bagudo, Jega and Dandi Local Government Areas.
“A total of 2,133 intending pilgrims from the state are expected to perform this year’s holy pilgrimage to Makka, Saudi Arabia,” the chairman said.