By Fatima Muraina
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has charged the 2017 intending pilgrims from Ondo State to Saudi Arabia to be good ambassadors of the state while on pilgrimage to the holy land.
Akeredolu urged them to use the pilgrimage to pray for the state, the governor, president of Nigeria and the country at large.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Hon Agboola Ajayi at the sendforth ceremony organised for the intending pilgrims in Akure, the Ondo State capital said they should shun all conducts that may bring down the image of the state.
He said they should concentrate more on daily prayers and not to waste time on things not profitable to God, adding that they should avoid hard drugs and adhere to the rules and regulations of the Saudi authority.
He called on the officials leading the state contigent to discharge their duties with the fear of God saying that government has provided for all the needed items they need in Mecca.
He reiterated the state government’s effort on continual wellbeing of the people of the state while he disclosed that the nomination and the appointment of Muslims is not limited to what is seen so far.
The Grand Mufti of Ondo State, Alhaji Surajudeen Batuta in his words of admonition advised the intending pilgrims to emulate those that go to the holy land to pray and not those who have contrary opinion to acquire gold, sleep or for site seeing of buildings and the like.
The Chairman, League of Imams and Alfas in Ondo State, Alhaji Ahmed Aladesawe applauded Akeredolu led administration since inception and prayed that God continues to help them run the affairs of the state.
Aladesawe urged pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state as the state is always respected in terms of discipline and is law abiding.
“What the government of Saudi Arabia does not want should be strictly adhered to,” Aladesawe advised.
The Chief Imam of Akure kingdom, Alhaji Abdulhakeem Yayi Akorede who was represented by Alhaji Moshood Kewuyemi charged the intending pilgrims to always take to the instructions of the Muslim Welfare Board in Mecca.
Akorede said that Muslims will continue to pray for the government so that they could continue to steer the leadership of the state successfully.
In his farewell address, Ondo State Chairman of the Muslim Welfare Board, Alhaji Khaleel Fawehinmi noted that the performance of hajj should not be at the expense of their obligatory responsibility to members of their immediate families.
Fawehinmi urged them to pray for the state and the country in general, saying that the country needs prayers to re-orientate the psyche, values and appreciation of the religion.
He appreciated the state government for its continued support and assistance to the welfare board to perform its responsibilities.