About 1,120 intending Muslim pilgrims from Nasarawa state are billed to perform the 2017 holy pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
Consequently the state governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, has charged the intending pilgrims to always use security ‘featured wrist bands’ during the holy pilgrimage to avoid arrest and deportation.
The governor gave the charge yesterday in Lafia, the state capital, during a farewell ceremony organised for the intending pilgrims.
Represented by the deputy governor, Silas Agara, Al-Makura said the security ‘featured wristbands’ were necessary for the protection of
pilgrims against all forms of criminality as well as to reduce difficulties pilgrims face during the holy exercise.
He said: “I call on you to always wear the wristband to be provided to you as you commence your spiritual journey. The wristband is designed with security features that are meant to ease any difficulty you might face
during the hajj operation.”
He added that the use of the security wristband was non-negotiable hence warning that anyone caught flaunting the directive would be sanctioned by the hajj delegation or the Saudi
“I should forewarn you that anyone who flaunts this directive can be sanctioned, arrested and could even face deportation. That is why it is very imperative that you always put on the security wristband to avoid any unfortunate circumstances,” he insisted.
The governor also informed the intending pilgrims that all necessary security steps have been taken to ensure a smooth ‘stoning of the
devil’ exercise which according to him “will take place in the night to forestall the unfortunate incident whereby some pilgrims died in the past while engaging in the exercise”.
He also added that arrangements have been made for Nigerians to partake in the stone the devil exercise at Jabrat at night. “This is to avoid the reoccurrence of the unfortunate stampede that took place two years ago which resulted in the loss of many lives,” he maintained.
Al-Makura then concluded by appealing to the intending pilgrims to pray for the sustenance of peace in the state and the country, resuscitation of the economy, political stability in and quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Earlier, Chairman of the Nasarawa State Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board, Umaru Ubangari, thanked the Nasarawa State Government for its support for pilgrims in the state as well as the recent re-constitution of a new board for the pilgrims board.
Also the executive secretary of the board, Abubakar Nalaraba, revealed that out of the 1,120 total number of intending pilgrims in the state for the 2017 holy exercise, 560 will be travelling to Mecca on Mondaywhile the second batch of 560 will leave on Wednesday via Abuja.
In a vote of thanks, speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly and leader of the state delegation for this year’s Hajj, Abdullahi Balarebe, thanked the state government for finding him worthy to lead Nasarawa State pilgrims to the holy land.