From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi
Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state has warned all the intending pilgrims to strictly abide by the laws of Saudi Arabia while in the Holy Land.
Addressing the intending pilgrims from the state before their departure yesterday, from the newly-built Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Gov Yuguda admonished them to be good ambassadors of not only the state but also of Nigeria throughout the period of the Hajj exercise.
According to the governor who was represented by the state deputy governor, Alhaji Sagir Aminu Saleh, this year’s Hajj exercise was historic for the state because for the first time intending pilgrims were being airlifted at home from the newly-constructed international airport.
Explaining why airlift of pilgrims could not start from the airport last year as planned by the state government, Yuguda stated that, “While the airport was completed on time, it could not be put to use as proposed due to the need to obtain clearance for the purpose from the relevant authorities within and outside the country.”
He declared that the state government had made adequate arrangements to take care of the health, comfort and general welfare of the state’s contingent to this year’s Hajj exercise.
He added that experienced guides, learned preachers, welfare officers and medical team had also been selected with a view to ensuring that the state’s pilgrims were given the best attention while performing the spiritual exercise.
He, however, warned the intending pilgrims against violating the laws of Saudi Arabia, saying that, “Let me sound a word of warning, that the laws of Saudi Arabia strictly prohibits the importation or possession of any type of drugs or food items”.
Also speaking on the occasion, the Emir of Bauchi, who doubles as the state Amirul Hajj, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu appealed to the intending pilgrims to be of good behavior in the Holy Land, warning that they should not do anything to tarnish the image of the state and the country.
He urged them to pray for peace to reign in the state and the country as well as for sustainable development in the state.