Intending pilgrims from Oyo State to the 2019 Hajj in Saudi Arabia have been admonished against taking kola nuts and other prohibited items to the holy land.
Gov. Seyi Makinde of the state gave the admonition in his farewell message to the intending pilgrims, on Wednesday, at the Hajj Camp, Olodo in Ibadan.
Makinde told the intending pilgrims that death penalty awaits anyone caught for drug peddling in Saudi Arabia.
“Let me advise you to resist any temptation to do anything contrary to the aims and objectives of performing Hajj.
“Be good ambassadors of Oyo State while in Saudi Arabia by showcasing our Pacesetter appellation in acts and indeed,’’ he enjoined.
The governor further urged the pilgrims to beseech ‘Almighty Allah’ on behalf of Oyo State and Nigeria while in the holy land, for solutions to the numerous socio-political and economic problems confronting Nigerians as people.
He said that the Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board was established in 1976 as the first organised Pilgrims’ Welfare Board in Nigeria, saying that the Hajj Camp was inaugurated in 1990.
He promised that his administration would make efforts to complete abandoned building projects which started in 2010, within the Hajj Camp and make the camp more befitting for use.
He also promised that his administration would ensure that pilgrims were airlifted from the Ibadan Airport at Alakia area, in the nearest future, to further ease the stress people go through on their journey.
Earlier, Prof. Sayed Malik, the Chairman, Oyo State Pilgrims’ Welfare Board (Muslim Wing), disclosed that 900 intending pilgrims would participate in the 2019 pilgrim operation from the state.
Malik promised that the board would do its best in ensuring that the pilgrims from the state were well taken care of in the holy land.