By Zubairu Idris
Katsina – President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerian pilgrims to use the hajj exercise to improve on their relationship with their creator and discharge their duties as responsible citizens.
Buhari made the call on Wednesday in Katsina during the 2019 inaugural flights of pilgrims from Katsina state.
The President, who was represented by Gov. Aminu Masari, said: “It is a great honour to be among you to witness another flag off of the movement of Nigerian contingents to Saudi Arabia for hajj.
“My dear pilgrims, as we focus in rebuilding of our dear country Nigeria, the hajj provides us with unique opportunities for self reflection, imbibing good discipline, brotherhood and tolerance.
“That over 3 million people from over 180 countries of different races and tribes perform the same rites at the same time is a great lesson of unity to humanity.
“The rich and poor, king and servant wear the same attire reminds us of our equality before our creator.
“We remember that our noble Prophet Muhammad said during the farewell sermon that we should respect one another and treat our women kindly.
“I therefore urge you to use hajj experience to improve on your relationship with your creator and discharge your duties as responsible citizens.
“Nigeria needs your prayers now more than ever,” he said.
Buhari urged the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) and state pilgrims welfare agencies to improve on pilgrims welfare during the hajj.
In his remarks, the Saudi Arabian Consul-General, Yusuf Alghamdy said that the Saudi Arabian government accord top priority to hajj exercise.
He urged Nigerian pilgrims to abide by the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia during the hajj.
Alghamdy warned pilgrims not to smuggle narcotics and drugs into Saudi Arabia because the Saudi Arabian government take them as serious offenses.
In their separate remakes, the representatives of the Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives, Sen. Kabir Barkiya and Ahmed Wase, urged the pilgrims to pray for the nation and be good ambassadors of the country.
NAN reports that 526 pilgrims from Katsina State were expected to be the first batch of Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for 2019 hajj.