Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has charged the 297 Muslim pilgrims from the state to be good ambassadors of the state and the nation, urging them to respect the laws of the Holy land and shun prohibited items.
Speaking at a meeting at the Government House, Benin, to send forth the pilgrims to the Holy land of Mecca and Medina, on Saturday, Governor Oshiomhole said, “when you get there, we expect you to be of excellent conduct. We expect you to use the opportunity to pray for yourselves, your family, for Edo State, for Nigeria.
He also charged them to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari.
Represented by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof Julius Ihonvbere, Oshiomhole said: “You are also representing your communities. If you do anything bad there, people will mention your village to identify you. Then they will mention your local government. So, yourselves, your families, your communities and even your local governments will be in bad light, so you will be surprised how one person can give a local government a bad image.
“You are representing your state, and we are all very proud of you. And we identify with you and that is part of the reason for this kind of interaction because we are not seeing you as strangers. You are part and parcel of Edo State. And you are also representing the Governor of Edo State. Each of you is representing Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. So, you have to think of that. Then you represent Nigeria because when they want to put anything on the paper, they will put Nigeria and that will not make people look at Edo State in good light.”
He said, “So, I want to urge you that you are not just ambassadors of Edo State. You are ambassadors of your families, your communities, your local governments, your state and the country Nigeria.”
He urged them to shun the items prohibited in the Holy Land so as not to run foul of the law.
Speaking on behalf of the intending Muslim pilgrims, the Onojie of Ewu, HRH Zaiki Abdurazak Ojeifoh said, “This year, we have a total of 295 pilgrims and two officials, making it 297. The pilgrims have been well tutored. They have been spoken to extensively by officials of the Board. They have been told what to do and what not to do. They have been told that they are the representatives of Edo State in this year’s hajj, and by the grace of God, I want to assure you that we will all be of good conduct.”
He continued, “I also want to thank you so much for the facilities given to the intending pilgrims and the members of the officials who are going for this year’s pilgrimage.”