*1,973 pilgrims to participate in Hajj from Kwara
By Mosunmola Ayobami in Ilorin
The Executive Secretary Kwara State Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board Hajia Abolore Jimoh, has disclosed that no fewer than 1,973 intending pilgrims would be mobilised from the State of Harmony for this year’s Hajj rites in Mecca.
Haji Abolore made this disclosure while speaking with WESTERN POST Correspondent in Ilorin during the week, adding that there was no increment nor reduction in figure of this year’s Hajj participants.
“By the special grace of God, a total of 1,973 pilgrims and ten official swill be leaving for the holy land from Kwara.
“Comparing this year’s figure with that of last year, there is no reduction. There is neither reduction nor increment, there are some privileged people who wished to travel with us whose slots were given to,” she said.
She said three different education and enlightenment programmes have been organised and two more would be organised for the intending pilgrims before the take-off starting from 7th of August this year.
“We have had three series of education and enlightenment programmes. We still intend to have two more before final take-off on 7th of August form the country but Kwara State does not have a schedule for now”
The Executive Secretary urged the intending pilgrims to ensure they make themselves available whenever there is any information to be dished out. She also enjoined them to set their home in order before leaving for the spiritual exercise.
“Whenever we call them, we want them to come down to get enlightenment because it’s not fair to spend so much money almost a million naira, yet you don’t know why you are leaving your country to go and worship Allah in Mecca. For those traveling, the fear of God should be the uppermost in their minds and they should make sure that their intention is pure, Whoever is owing should settle their debts and make sure the home left behind is intact. They should ensure adequate preparation is made for them,” she said.
She said with effect from this year’s Hajj, kolanuts smuggling in the Kingdom is prohibited as well as palm oil and pepper in addition to other prohibited hard drugs.
She assured the pilgrims that maximum security would be in place to guide against such smuggling.
“I also want them to know that it is now illegal to take Kolanuts to the Holy land. Anybody with kolanuts will have to stay there with Saudi Authorities; it is now a law with effect from this year that kolanuts should not be taken. Also, palm oil is not allowed on board, pepper and any hard drug related substance is not allowed in the kingdom so they should desist from taking them along. And we want to assure them that at the airport, camp, security will be beefed up to ensure that only those who are ready to abide by the rules and regulations are taken to the Holy land for five weeks. They should face the spiritual aspect of the journey not any other thing,” she said.