R-L: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Lolade Aina; Board Secretary, Mr. Saheed Onipede; Board member, Hon. AbdulWaheed Shonibare; Board Chairman, Engr. (Imam) Shakiru Ayinde Gafar; SA to Mr. Governor on Islamic Matters, Alh. Ahmad Abdullahi Jebe; Board member, Alh. Mojeed Sanni; Board member, Alh. Yusuf Ara and Chairman, League of Ulamah, Alh. Muhsin Ajagbemokeferi at the One-Day seminar.
No fewer than 200 Intending Pilgrims from Lagos State will depart Nigeria for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform the 2023/1444 A. H. Umrah (lesser hajj) exercise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
This was disclosed by the Hon. Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, during a One-Day Seminar organized by the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board for the intending pilgrims, at the Shamsi Adisa Thomas (SAT) Mosque Hall, old Secretariat, Ikeja, on Wednesday.
Represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Matters, Alh. Ahmad Abdullahi Jebe, the Commissioner stated that the intending pilgrims would be departing for the lesser hajj in three batches.
According to him, the first batch would depart on Sunday April 9, the second leaves on Monday, April 10 while the third batch would depart on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. He emphasized that the departure dates are in line with the schedule of the foreign airlines that would convey the intending pilgrims.
The Special Adviser told the intending pilgrims who turned out in large number for the seminar to be adequately prepared for the journey, adding that the State Government had secured their visas from the Saudi Arabian Embassy, traveling tickets from Qatar and Ethiopian airlines as well as insurance document.
He urged those whose Yellow card is still valid to take it along while those who don’t have it should endeavor to procure theirs without further delay, saying the yellow card which usually has a validity period of 10 years is very important for international travellers.
While encouraging them to be patient with the officials during the exercise, Elegushi told them that adequate arrangement had been made for their accommodation and transportation.
He said that green, blue and purple cards have been produced to differentiate and categorize the hotels they would stay in the Kingdom based on the package they paid for. He however advised them to abide by the arrangement so as to achieve a smooth operation.
In his welcome remark, the Board Chairman, Engr. (Imam) Shakiru Ayinde Gafar, wished the intending pilgrims journey mercy and urged them to be good ambassadors of the state while in the Holy land.
He also encouraged them to pray for the success of the administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat; President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as well as Nigeria in general.
Highlight of the seminar was a lecture on the significance and the requirements for an acceptable Umrah which was delivered by the Chairman, League of Ulamah (Hajj clerics) Alh. Muhsin Ajagbemokeferi and health talk presented by Dr. Fausat Dabiri, a Board member representing Lagos division.
Some of the eminent personalities present at the occasion are the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Lolade Aina; Board members among which are Alh. Mojeed Sanni (Ikorodu division), Alh. Yusuf Ara (Epe), Hon. AbdulWaheed Lolade Shonibare(Ikeja division) and the Board Secretary, Mr. Saheed Olayiwola Onipede.