*** Lifts 410 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia
By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
The Federal Capital Territory Administration has expressed its commitment in ensuring that the FCT contingent to Saudi Arabia for the 2022 Hajj operation gets the best treatment comparable to any other state of the federation or even the world.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, gave this commitment while addressing the first batch of 410 pilgrims to the Holy land held at the permanent Hajj camp, Bassan, Abuja.
The minister hinted that despite the new policies introduced by Saudi Arabia and relevant authorities after the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, the FCT Administration was proactive in ensuring that all the intending pilgrims complied with relevant policies to participate in the spiritual journey.
Aliyu said; “in order to actualize the success of this important religious obligation, the Administration, through the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, introduced a number of strategies, some of which are orientation, radio enlightenment programmes, administration of COVID -19 vaccines, medical screening and other programmes organized to address possible obstacles that may hinder the success of the Hajj operation”.
She, therefore, enjoined all the pilgrims to remember that Nigeria is passing through some economic and security challenges which require their prayers, just as she called on them to pray for the success of the forthcoming general elections in 2023.
“For this country to come out of these various predicaments, the importance of your prayers cannot be over emphasized. It is in this regard, I urge you all to reciprocate this kind gesture extended to you by being good Ambassadors of the FCT and the country at large.
“Pray for the peaceful coexistence of our dear nation as one entity. Always remember that you have no other country to call your own than Nigeria,” she added.
In his remarks, Director, FCT Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board, Malam Muhammad Nasiru Danmallam, revealed that the board has approved a total number of 1,995 pilgrims from FCT to perform this year’s Hajj exercise.
He, however, used the occasion to warn officials selected for the operation that the board would not tolerate any act of indiscipline, stressing that anybody found wanting during the exercise shall have himself or herself to blame.
Danmallam, commended the efforts of the FCT Minister of State for making it possible to secure a befitting accommodation in Makkah for the pilgrims located about 800 meters away from the holy Haram.