Home Islamic Arena Makinde Bids Oyo State’s 1,070 Intending Pilgrims Farewell, Tasks Them On Need...

Makinde Bids Oyo State’s 1,070 Intending Pilgrims Farewell, Tasks Them On Need To Be Good Ambassadors

Engineer 'Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State, left, with the pilgrims...
Engineer 'Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State, left, with the pilgrims...

Engineer ‘Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State has charged the intending pilgrims from the state to be good ambassadors while carrying out Hajj activities in the Holy land of Saudi Arabia.

Makinde gave the advice on Wednesday while bidding the 2024 intending Pilgrims, who are 1,070 in number to Saudi Arabia a farewell.

The ceremony was held at the Exhibition Ground of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), Orita Bashorun, Ibadan.

In his farewell message, Governor Makinde reiterated that his vision is to ensure that before the expiration of the current administration, Muslim Pilgrims are airlifted from Ibadan to Saudi Arabia.

He explained regulators have agreed to airlift Pilgrims from Ibadan Airport but with a condition that the passengers will still have a stop over in Lagos for documentation and necessary processes.

The governor said the arrangement does not align with his vision which also led to certain demands being placed on the state.

Makinde said that the state has met with some of the outlined conditions by the regulators, however, assured that other conditions such as expansion of the runway among others would be completed within the next 18months.

“The first time I came to Olodo, I told our Pilgrims that before I leave the government, they will airlift from Ibadan airport. Yes, we have been at it, we are trying. It’s been five years now, but part of the problem was that they agreed to airlift from Ibadan but insisted that they will have to stop by in Lagos for some documentation and processing and I said that wasn’t my vision.

“My vision is that you will do all processes here in Ibadan, and as soon as you board here, you are heading straight to Saudi Arabia directly.

“All the things we are supposed to do, some of them, we are doing already. They asked us to widen the road that leads to the airport, we have done it. They asked us to create a point where planes can refuel, we have done it. The only thing left, that we should extend our runway by another 600 metres, that we should install ILS and we should build another terminal where they can process passengers and we are on it. The target is within the next 18 months, which also will be done.”

While charging the officials leading the trip to prioritise the welfare of the pilgrims, he charged the state pilgrims also to be good ambassadors and focus on the purpose of the religious activity.

He also said he remained undeterred by those criticizing him and claiming he’s not doing enough for Muslims in the state, noting that such people are only seeking attention and he won’t give them.

He said he is focused on ensuring that everyone gets their dues accordingly in the state irrespective of religion or any other bias.

“So, please, my people going on Hajj, I have one or two pieces of advice for you but before I give you, let me talk to the officials.

“The welfare of our people can not be compromised, so you must look after every pilgrim from Oyo state.

“To the intending Pilgrims, I have three pieces of advice for you. You have to represent Oyo State well. You must be good ambassadors of Oyo State. Don’t collect any package from just anyone to be delivered to another person in Saudi Arabia; please don’t take such a package because there are many people out there. The person you don’t know, don’t let them send you any errand.

“Secondly, don’t get there and immediately start spending spree shopping. Finish up the main purpose which is religious and prayers; there will be days when you can go shopping.

“You must look after yourselves. Don’t say someone is from Oke Ogun and you don’t care about someone from Ibadan when you get to the Holy land. Please, the prayer you are going there to offer, please pray for us, our government, yourselves and your families and I know God will answer our prayers”, he added.

The governor also seized the opportunity to assure the residents that the government will soon complete work on the ongoing Olodo bridge, which he said was a reason the Hajj Camp, Olodo could not be used for the farewell ceremony.

“Some people are wondering why I am dressed in the same outfit as those going on Hajj, wondering if I am also going. Well, you know that for us in the Southwest, when people are celebrating, we always join and share in their celebration.

“I am so happy today and I heard all that the Chairman, Muslim Wing, Sheikh Atere said earlier. The only reason that we are here is that we were supposed to be at the Hajj Camp, Olodo but because we have demolished the Olodo bridge and ongoing work on the road.

“But, by the end of this week, one side of the road will be open for vehicular movement and before next year Hajj, the two sides would have been opened and the road from Iwo Road to Hajj camp, Olodo would be clear and we won’t be worried if any kind of holdup to get to the camp. So, this is a makeshift arrangement and that of next year would be better than this.”

Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Pilgrims Welfare Board, Muslim Wing, Sheikh Hashim Atere lauded the governor for supporting the vision to make the 2024 Hajj seamless.

“This Board had secured a befitting accommodation very close to Al Haram for the pilgrims. I am delighted to inform Your Excellencies that local meals have been included in the menu list for our pilgrims. It is also worthy of mentioning that all arrangements have been made to make accommodation check-in easy for our pilgrims in Makkah.

“We have indicated their hotel and room number in each pilgrim’s identity card to be worn right from lbadan. This is an unprecedented threat in the history of this Board. All our pilgrims have been granted Hajj Visas with no exception. It is to be noted that Oyo State is the first state in the South West and the second State in the country, to have all pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within the first week of the commencement of airlifting for Hajj.”

In their various goodwill messages, the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdulganiy Agbotomokekere, Professor Kamil Olosho, Chief Adebayo Oyero, and other Muslim leaders from other parts of the state including the League of Imams and Alfas in attendance lauded Makinde for his unprecedented commitments towards the welfare and well-being of Muslim community in the state.

Packaged by Kunle Gazali

author avatar


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here