Let me begin by acknowledging Mr. President Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari for his sterling leadership and his ready support to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria whenever the situation demands. Mr. President’s backing has helped in facilitating today’s event and the entire 2022 Hajj operation despite the short notice within which the fourth board had to organize what I call the emergency Hajj management.
I also acknowledge the tremendous support the NAHCON board has been enjoying from members of the National Assembly that are charged with overseeing the affairs of the Commission.
I thank the Borno state Governor, the indefatigable Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum who has always left his doors open to NAHCON’s demands and went the extra mile in ensuring that this inaugural flight takes off hitch free and as scheduled in the state capital.
I commend NAHCON Board Members, the States’ Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards/Agencies/Commissions, and all staff of NAHCON for working tirelessly towards the successful commencement of this year’s Hajj activities.
Today is undoubtedly a memorable day in Nigeria’s Hajj industry. Memorable because after a long time, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria is launching its Hajj inaugural flight from the ancient city of El-Kanemi, ancient city of Yerwa, a citadel of learning, the city of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. It is indeed significant because by the special Mercy and grant of The Almighty, this development is an indication that Borno state is growing stronger from its challenges. Thanks to the staunch leadership of the peoples’ governor who has been on his feet throughout.
Today is also memorable because after what seemed like eternity, for the first time in two years, the fourth board of NAHCON, led by my humble self, is about to dispatch its first set of pilgrims for the 2022 Hajj. All praise belongs to Allah, who makes all things possible as He wills. We have every reason to thank Allah because He made it feasible for us to conclude arrangements and commence flight operations in due time. With cooperation of all pilgrims, we will insha Allah conclude Hajj airlift despite the obvious time constraints.
Today, after a long time of yearning, our pilgrims are about to embark on a long-awaited pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia, seeking the pleasure of Allah Subhanahu wata ala alone. After two years, I hereby congratulate our successful pilgrims for being among the few Muslims chosen by the Creator to proceed to Saudi Arabia to worship Him, chanting labbaik Allahumma labbaik. Certainly, this is a great opportunity after the covid-19 pandemic that grounded global activities, as the Almighty willed.
Therefore, I call on our 43,008 intending pilgrims to maximize this special opportunity on acts of ibada and to avoid any action that would be detrimental to their Hajj and to the image of Nigeria. Fortunately, all of you here present will be the first set of pilgrims from Nigeria to arrive Saudi Arabia for the Hajj season. I therefore encourage you to exhibit exemplary conduct, setting the pace for others to emulate. Remember that first impression matters, hence, you should understand that you carry the responsibility of projecting a positive image of your country in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The way you set the pace will determine henceforth the kind of welcome treatment your fellow citizens will receive. I therefore appeal to you to abide by the regulations of Saudi Arabia, a country that is doing its possible best to give you the finest hospitality as Guests of ArRahman. I appeal to you to respect instructions of your pilgrims’ officials because they are your guides and have been instructed on the needfuls. I beseech you to recall that this Hajj is a peculiar one because of the pandemic. As such, I hasten to advise you to abide strictly by all health regulations while in the Kingdom and even after your return.
NAHCON has made the necessary arrangements for your comfort, do not hesitate to contact any of our official for assistance when in need, because they are there to serve you. Safeguard your valuables and do not carry along any prohibited item into Saudi Arabia, as a sign of honour to the host country.
Finally, let me implore you to pray for the peace, prosperity, security, and unity of Nigeria, after you pray for yourselves and your families. Please, pray for the successful transition of this government to the next as we face another electioneering year. Pray for your amiable Governor, His Excellency Babagana Umara Zulum. May Allah triple his reward for the good things he is doing in the state. I once again thank him for the support he has been rendering to the fourth board of NAHCON since we assumed office. And please, do not forget to pray for a successful and hitch free Hajj from Nigeria and the whole Muslim world.
Thank you for listening and may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala bless each one of us.
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