Intending Muslim Pilgrims from Cross River State to the 2019 Hajj in Makkah and Meddinah have been charged to shun any acts capable of tarnishing the image of the State and the Country.
Governor Ben Ayade gave the charge during a farewell cerenony organised by the state government for the pilgrims held at the Eastern Naval Command Central Mosque in Calabar.
Ayade who Spoke through his Special Assitant on Religious Matters, Patrick Ogar, reminded those embarking on the journey to consider it a privilege, saying that it was an opportunity for them to seek for spiritual rebirth as well as pray for the peace and progress of Cross River State and Nigeria.
The Governor who Commended the Leadership of the Cross River Muslims Pilgrim Welfare Board praised their yearly exemplary contact during the exercise, admonishing that good conduct should always be the attributes of a good Muslim.
He urged them to deligently follow the tenet of the holy Quran and prophet Muhammed by adhering to the rules and regulations as prescribed the Saudi Authority in relation Hajj especially on Arafat day.
“On behalf of His Excellency, Senator Professor Ben Ayade, I want to urge you to put Cross River State and Nigeria first in your prayers when you get to the holy land,” he admonished.
He added that, “I hope you know that you are carrying banners of the over four million People of Cross River State to Saudi Arabia, therefore, endeavour to conduct yourself very well in manner that will depict us a true Paradise State in Nigeria.”
“Dont join bad Gang and most importantly avoid Drugs and any items listed as Contraband to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Dont help anyone you don’t know to carry their luggage at the airport, because you don’t know what is inside, even paper, don’t collect from anybody as anything can be planted in it.Remember, the world is hitech and anyhting can be planted inside the paper you consider ordinary, so be vigilant,” the Governor’s Aide sternly warned.
Earlier in his remark, Chairman of the Cross River Mulism Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Tanimu Hassan enumerated the dos and don’ts in the holyland to the intending pilgrims, urging them to ensure strict compliance always.
Tanimu Commended Governor Ben Ayade for always considered the interest of minority muslims in the tate as part of his government programmes and policies.
He said every necessary arrangement has been made to guaranteed a smooth hajj exercise to and from Suadi Arabia as urged the intending pilgrims to reciprocate the gesture by being good ambassadors of the state at the holy land.
On his part, Director incharge of islamic affairs Department of Religious Matters, Alhaji Bello Audu, the office have made the necessary arrangements to meet up their needs ranging from medicare, feeding and accomodation during the course of the exercise in Makkah, Medinah and Mina.
Prayers were offered to the Governor and Government of Cross River State and Ngeria by Imam Ahmad Bassey and the Chief Imam of Eastern Naval Command, Uztaz Shakariyyah Muhammed.
Fourty Two intending Pilgrims left Calabar for Saudi Arabia out of which thirty four of them were sponsored by the Cross River State Government.