By PETER UWUMAROGIE
GOMBE- Alhaji Haruna Rasheed II, the Emir of Dukku, Gombe State, has urged the state’s intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to pray for the peaceful conduct of the 2023 general elections.
Rasheed made the call in an interview with newsmen in Gombe on Friday shortly after the inauguration of the state’s Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (GMPWB).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inaugurated 21-member board has Rasheed as Chairman.
The royal father said Nigeria needed prayers for the peaceful conduct of the elections, for peace and security in the country and for bumper harvest in this year’s cropping season.
“The least pilgrims can do for us is to go and help us pray for the nation to make sure that credible leaders are elected and also make sure that peaceful elections are conducted,” he said.
He stated that as the new chairman of GMPWB, he would, in collaboration with his board members, introduce a lot of ideas to ensure the smooth conduct of pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
He stated that under his leadership, the pilgrimage would be conducted in a fair manner and to ensure that the welfare of pilgrims was adequately protected.
Rasheed tasked the state’s intending pilgrims to always uphold the good image of the state while in the Holy Land.
The chairman assured Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State that his board members would justify the confidence reposed on them.
Inaugurating the board, Yahaya, who was represented by the Secretary to the state government, Prof. Ibrahim Njodi, said membership of the board was drawn from the three senatorial districts of the state.
Yahaya urged the board members to imbibe the spirit of honesty, productivity and accountability in line with Islamic tenets and to discharge their duties diligently, shunning all corruption.
He stated that the board was saddled with the responsibility of performing Hajj, which was one of the cardinal principles of Islam for the benefit of Muslims in Gombe State.
The governor tasked the chairman and board members to educate intending pilgrims on the essence of pilgrimage so as to reap the benefits of visiting the Holy Land.
“Tell all intending pilgrims that Hajj is not a business trip, tourism or adventure, rather it is a spiritual journey in search of the blessings of Allah,” said the governor.
He appealed to members of the board to continue to offer prayers for the progress and development of Gombe State and Nigeria in general.
NAN reports that the airlift of 1,105 intending pilgrims from Gombe State for the 2022 Hajj will commence on June 20. (NAN)