Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has enjoined intending pilgrims to intercede for the country and Osun state in particular for rapid economic recovery and political peace.
He said this while addressing the intending pilgrims, during the farewell ceremony for the 2016 intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
The governor who described the present economic situation as challenging, called on the intending pilgrims to take greater advantage of this year Hajj pilgrimage to pray God for total liberation and breakthrough of Nigeria’s economy.
He said the time has come for all to rise to the occasion of rescuing the nation from her present socio-economic, political and religious unrest, saying no efforts must be spared by all the intending pilgrims to seek the face of Allah for absolute deliverance.
Identifying some of the challenges facing the country, Governor Aregbesola expressed hope that the issue of inability of some states to pay workers’ salaries shall be a thing of the past, if the intending pilgrims can devote time to pray God for swift economic improvement of the country.
He said: “What Nigeria needs at the moment is fervent prayer especially as the nation is being faced with myriads of shortcomings.
“No effort must be spared at achieving this feat. We must all strive to ensuring peaceful co-existence and corporate continuity of Nigeria as a constitutionally constituted entity.
“On this note, the intending pilgrims must use the advantage of this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to pray for total liberation and breakthrough as the country is ravaged with socio-economic, political and religious anomalies.”
The Southwest Commissioner, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Fua’ad Adeyemi, commended the government of Osun, led by Governor Rauf Aregbesola for being consistent and focused towards the welfare of the masses especially the annual intending pilgrims.
Alhaji Adeyemi described Osun as the overall well-behaved and performed state in Nigeria over the years in the history of Hajj pilgrimage in Nigeria.
In his words: “By all assessments and standards, Osun state has always been coming ahead of its counterparts in terms of the required behaviors, attitude and habits being exhibited by her pilgrims.”
Earlier, the Amir-Ul-Hajj of Osun Pilgrims’ Welfare Board, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, disclosed that seven hundred and twenty-four (724) intending pilgrims are expected to perform in this year Hajj pilgrimage.
Alhaji Hassan said out of 845 seats given to Osun by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), 742 have been successfully certified by the Board to embark to Saudi Arabia for this year Hajj.
He charged this year’s contingent to brace up for the challenges ahead so as to maintain and possibly improve on the achievements recorded in previous years.