Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has urged intending pilgrims for the 2017 hajj to pray for the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari and continuous peace in the country.
Akeredolu, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Agboola Ajayi, made the appeal on Tuesday in Akure during a farewell ceremony organised by Ondo State Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Board.
“Pilgrimage to the holy land of Saudi Arabia comes once in a year across the globe and this is an opportunity for Muslim faithfuls going on hajj to pray for the recovery of our ailing president.
“You should not also forget to pray for well being of Nigerians and unity of the country as a whole.
“Remember your obligations to Allah while in the holy land and desist from actions capable of tarnishing the image of Ondo State and Nigeria in general.”
According to him, the state government has provided all necessary support to the board to ensure the success of the operation.
While enjoining officials of the board to discharge their duty with fear of Allah, Akeredolu admonished the pilgrims to conform with the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia.
The governor warned the pilgrims to shun all vices including carrying contraband goods and hard drugs.
“It is your prayer that is working for us; nothing works like prayer. This year, 301 of you are going to hajj, by the grace of God, next year, we shall be more than this,” he said.
Earlier, Alhaji Khaleel Fawehinmi, chairman of the board, appreciated the state government for its continued support and assistance to the board in performing its statutory responsibility.
“It must be noted that the current administration in the state has expressed its resolve to identify with Muslims for peaceful coexistence among religion faithfuls across the state.
“I like to appeal to you as you are going to the holy land not just to have your personal fulfillment and pray for yourselves alone, I urge you to remember our dear state and the country in general.
“We need prayers of the faithfuls to re-orientate our psyche, values and appreciation of religion itself,” Fawehinmi said.
A total of 301 intending pilgrims from the state will perform travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.