Abuja – The Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCT), Mr John Chukwu, on Tuesday urged the 2015 intending pilgrims to pray for the peace and security of the nation.
Chukwu gave the charge at a ceremony marking the departure of 2015 FCT intending pilgrims at the permanent Hajj camp in Abuja.
He also urged them to pray for themselves and for the entire country, especially now that the nation was facing security challenges.
He said that it was the desire of the present administration to provide the enabling environment FCT residents to discharge their religious obligations in line with the doctrine of freedom of worship.
“That is why the administration will continue to put necessary machinery in motion to actualize the success of pilgrimage to the holy land as one of the important religious obligations.
“ Due to the importance attached to hajj, the administration, through the FCT Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board, has continued to introduce a number of strategies, one of which is orientation and education of pilgrims.”
The permanent secretary said that medical screening and other relevant programmes were also organised to address certain obstacles dogging the success of hajj operations over the years.
“As an administration that gives high premium to the welfare of its residents both at home and abroad, it is our desire to ensure that they get the best treatment.
“To achieve this, the administration has successfully concluded all necessary arrangements for the welfare of our contingent to the holy land.’’
Chukwu expressed confidence that with the commitment of the entire staff and the behaviour of the intending pilgrims, this year’s exercise would be rated above the previous years.
He also commended the Saudi Arabian authorities for the introduction of e-tracking system.
Earlier, the Director, FCT Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board, Malam Bashir Muhammad, said that to ensure a hitch-free exercise, it organised a series of activities to make it a memorable one.
This, he said, included sensitisation and education programmes such as medical screening, pregnancy tests and immunization for the prospective pilgrims.
Muhammad said that the board, through the FCT administration, had succeeded in securing a befitting accommodation for its prospective pilgrims in the holy land.
He urged the officials selected for this year’s exercise to place the interest of the pilgrims above any other interest for a hitch-free exercise.
He also reminded the officials that the board would not tolerate any act of indiscipline, stressing anybody found wanting during the exercise, would have him or herself to blame. (NAN)