From left: Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, HRH Dekhe Kanoba, (Eghiegbai of Ekperi) Chairman Edo State Muslim Pilgrims Board and Mallam Abdul Fattah Enabulele, Aminurul Hajj during the send-forth of Edo Edo Muslim Pilgrims to the Holy Land, at the Government House, Benin City..
Two hundred and seventy four Muslim pilgrims will on Wednesday depart for the Holy lands of Mecca and Medina for the 2013 Islamic pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Chairman of the state Pilgrims Welfare Board and Eghiegbai of Ekperi, HRH Dekhe Kanoba made this known Tuesday during a send-forth organized for them by Governor Adams Oshiomhole at the Government House, Benin City.
According to the royal father, who assured the Governor that the state pilgrims will do the state proud in the Holy Land by shunning evil devices, the pilgrims are made up of 142 males and 132 females.
In his send-forth message, Governor Oshiomhole commended the muslim community for their contributions to the peace, security and development of the state just as he urged the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state.
According to the governor, “those who are going are people who are genuine Muslims who understand the injunctions of God and who understand the teachings of the Koran and who appreciate that they going for pilgrimage, among other things, to pray for themselves and their families; their country and their state and above all to ask God to forgive whatever sins
they may have committed knowingly or unknowingly. If you understand that, part of the agenda is to seek forgiveness of sins, you do not need to be told to abstain from sin.
“Over the years, Edo State has had very good track record. I am not aware that any of our pilgrims have been involved in any evil act. They have been ambassadors of peace and they have demonstrated their faith in their country and they appreciate the teachings of the Koran and abide by the do’s and don’ts. And therefore there is hardly any new thing I have to say.
The only thing I have to say is to wish you Allah’s blessing and protection”, he said.
The Governor said “I do understand that we are not able to give the level of support that you expect, but the truth of the matter is that Nigeria is in serious financial mess when Government cannot implement its budget. Only yesterday, the Federal Government said it cannot implement its budget which means the money that is due to Edo State will not come. And I am obliged to meet my obligations to the people of Edo State. When you face these type of challenge you have to choose what will be the best priority that will have the greatest impact on the lives of the people.
“I think this occasion affords me the opportunity to appreciate the contributions you are making to the maintenance of peace and security in our state. When on every Friday, you assemble, you deliver sermon and appeal and sensitize the young ones about the need to be God-fearing, you are helping the state. When you ask people in the face of hunger not to
resort to stealing or any of those things the Koran frowns at, you are helping us to maintain peace. I personally appreciate your contributions and the partnership between the Muslim community and the Government of Edo State”, he noted.
The State Amiru Hajj, Mallam Abdul Fatah Enabulele assured the Governor that the pilgrims would give a good account of themselves by abstaining from vices that would tarnish the image of the state.