By Daniel Tyokua
The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, at the weekend transported the total of 2,220 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for spiritual exercise.
Addressing the intending pilgrims at Hajj camp Bassan Jiwa, before their departure, the FCT permanent secretary Chineayaka Ohaa called on them to use the opportunity to pray for Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary also said that the FCTA through the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has introduced a number of strategies which include orientation, education and medical screening to ensure a hitch-free exercise.
He also said that the FCTA has as usual displayed the utmost commitment to ensuring that the intending pilgrims get the best possible treatment in the Holy Land. This commitment to excellence, the Permanent Secretary continued has ensured that the FCT clinched the title of the best state pilgrims’ welfare board for two consecutive years of 2017 and 2018.
Speaking to the Hajj officials, Sir Ohaa asked them to be of exemplary conduct and consider the assignment as a trust from God. He said “I enjoin you to discharge your duties diligently and assist the intending pilgrims to attain an acceptable Hajj as only God can adequately reward you for your duties”.
On his part, Director of the FCT Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board, Mallam Muhammad Bashir said that a total of 2220 pilgrims will be airlifted from the FCT to Saudi Arabia.
He also disclosed that in a bid to ensure a hitch-free and successful Hajj operation, his Board introduced some innovations which include the education and orientation programmes for the pilgrims as well as improved medical screenings which include pregnancy tests as well as immunizations.
Like the Permanent Secretary, the Director also advised the intending pilgrims to be “law-abiding and strictly abide by the transport system and feeding arrangements, luggage policy as well as flight schedules.
He also implored them to “be patient always, avoid rumour mongering, be responsive and avoid reckless spending and above all, have the fear of Allah (SWT) and remember the purpose of the journey.”
While sounding a note of warning, Bashir said that the “Board would not tolerate any act of indiscipline as anybody found wanting during the exercise shall have himself or herself to blame, and promised: “We shall redouble our efforts towards the success of this operation”