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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Sanwo-Olu warns Lagos intending Hajj pilgrims against money laundering

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Ahead airlifting of over 1,800 intending Lagos pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj rites, the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has warned the travelling contingent to avoid taking along banned and prohibited items as well as engaging in money laundering during their stay in the country.

Sanwo-Olu said that like in Nigeria, there are stiffer penalties and punishments for any body found culpable in the Arabian soil.

The governor urged the pilgrims obey laid-down rules and regulations guiding their stay during the Hajj rites in the country.

According to him, I want to appeal that you be good ambassadors of Nigeria by conducting yourselves in a responsible and orderly manner.

He added “You should shun negative behaviours and actions that can bring embarrassment and tarnish the image of the country”.

The governor gave this warning on Thursday during a one-day seminar to educate and bid 2024 intending pilgrims farewell in Ikeja.

He said: “Ensure that you obey laid-down rules and regulations guiding your stay and avoid taking along banned and prohibited items such as hard drugs, cola nut, bitter cola, etc. as well as involving in money laundering.

“Please note that while all these things are not tolerated anywhere in the world, there are stiffer penalties and punishments for any body found culpable.

“Dear pilgrims, I urge you to remember our beloved country in your prayers and refrain from speaking negatively about the nation and her leaders.

“Pray fervently for the success of the present administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President and Commander-in-Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces (GCFR) in his efforts at rebuilding and redeveloping the nation.

“Do not forget to also offer prayers for peace, tranquility and progress of Lagos State as our administration continue its giant stride in infrastructural renewal and development as well as other initiatives such as ‘Eko Cares’ in line with our THEMES+ agenda”, he added.

The governor, who was represented by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lawal Pedro, assured the intending pilgrims that the government has made adequate preparation to ensure their religious rites is hitch-free.

The Amir Hajj, who is also the State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ibrahim Layode, who thanked the governor for his support towards the pilgrims, assured that arrangements have been made to ensure a memorable Hajj rites.

He said that the state had secured a befitting accommodation and necessary facilities for their comfort in Mecca.

According to him, all necessary arrangements have been made by the governor including dedicated Medical team and payments of other essential needs while in the holy land.

On his part, the Chairman of the state pilgrims Welfare Board, Shakiru Gafar, explained that the gathering was to consolidate on series of lectures conducted for pilgrims during past seminars.

Gafar described Hajj as a divine call by Allah adding that those who have the opportunity this year should take full advantage of the exercise to reap full rewards from Allah.

The Board Chairman also urged the intending pilgrims to adhere strictly to the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

In the lecture titled ” Significance of Hajj in the Lifetime of Man”, the Chief Imam of Igbogbo Central Mosque, Abdulrahman Lukman, urged the pilgrims and the coordinators to unite towards achieving a successful hajj exercise.

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