Osun State Government has disclosed that plans have been concluded to vaccinate over 800 intending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj against coronavirus as part of requirements for visiting the Holy Land.
It explained that the exercise was in compliance with directive of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in accordance with the safety guidelines of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
The state’s Commissioner for Home Affairs, Tajudeen Lawal, said that the vaccination drive was also in line with the Governor Gboyega Oyetola-led administration’s commitment to citizens’ welfare, healthy living, safety, and general well-being.
Addressing the registered intending pilgrims during flag-off of the vaccination exercise at the premises of the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, State Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Lawal said that the board had received enough doses to cater to the needs of the intending pilgrims.
He assured that the state government would continue to do the needful and would prioritise the people’s welfare as it has been doing since inception.
Lawal, who said that the state had recorded many successes and received several commendations and accolades for its annual outstanding performance, assured the intending pilgrims of seamless and hitch-free exercise.
“First and foremost, I have to commend our amiable Governor for his prompt support over the years. He has shown to us that he is a leader, a worthy leader whose passion and love for the welfare and general well-being of the citizens is second to none.
“As you all know, Nigeria and other parts of the world couldn’t perform Hajj last year. We are considering combining registered intending pilgrims for the year 2020 and 2021. So far so good, about 800 people have registered and hopefully, all of them would be vaccinated in line with the directive of the NAHCON.
“I am appealing to our people to take this exercise seriously and conduct themselves with topmost Omoluabi ethos whenever they are in the Holy Land because this is what we are known for,” Lawal added.
Addressing journalists during the exercise, the Secretary, Osun Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Bolaji Sanni, said that the exercise was designed to adhere to and fulfill all necessary safety requirements as laid down by the health authorities.
According to him, the intending pilgrims are expected to take two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines before they leave Nigeria for Saudi Arabia.
“This vaccination exercise is in line with the directive of the NAHCON to vaccinate all the intending pilgrims as part of the necessities for this year’s Hajj. Since the Hajj exercise for this year is expected to commence in June, we are under obligation to carry out the vaccination exercise to meet up the deadline.
“This first phase of the vaccination exercise will end by April while the second dose will be taken early June as the intending pilgrims are expected to depart Nigeria for Saudi Arabia by the middle of June. We are ready to complete the exercise for all of them. Though we have the combined list of 2020 and 2021 running to 800 registered intending pilgrims so far, some are still registering and we are committed to ensuring that everybody is fairly treated,” Sanni added.