The Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has expressed its preparedness to commence a weekend lectures/orientation programme for its intending pilgrims performing the 2024 Hajj exercise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

The Board Secretary, Mr. Saheed Onipede disclosed this recently during a meeting with the Executive Committee of the Ulamau (Islamic Clerics) working with the Board on Hajj and Umrah operations, at the Conference Room of the Agency, Old Secretariat, Ikeja.

Onipede emphasised that the weekend orientation programme was necessary to educate all the intending pilgrims about the complex nature and rigours of the hajj exercise in order to adequately prepare them for the exercise. 

He added that the lectures would afford them the opportunity of knowing all they needed to know about the performance of the Hajj rites, especially in both Muna and Arafah as well as in Jamarat (site for throwing of pebbles) to achieve a rewarding and acceptable Hajj by Allah. 

According to him, the weekend orientation programme which would hold every Saturday and Sunday in April, would start on Saturday, April 13, 2024, and run simultaneously in all the Local Government Areas of the State. 

He, therefore, urged the intending pilgrims to attend and take advantage of the programme to get more acquainted with the holy exercise, adding that the programme is also an avenue for them to get more information from the Board through their respective Local Government’s Schedule Officers (Coordinators), interact and familiarise with one another before their departure to the Holy Land. 

He also sought the support and cooperation of the Ulamau, saying their role is critical to every Hajj operation embarked upon by the state. 

He said, “Let me appeal to all the members of the Ulamau to exhibit great commitment and dedication to the Hajj exercise for the State to maintain its leadership position in Hajj operation throughout the country. Your role is critical to preparing and educating the intending pilgrims about the Hajj rites”.

Onipede urged the Executive Committee led by Imam Raji Opeyemi to appeal to their members to show commitment and contribute efficiently and effectively to the success of the spiritual exercise by participating fully. 

He added that Ojo and Badagry Local Governments, which hitherto held their lectures jointly, have now been separated to allow them to benefit from the lectures in their respective areas and reduce the stress usually being faced when traveling from Badagry town to Ojo local government for the lectures. 

While appreciating the Ulamau for their past contributions, he urged them to tolerate one another and accord the pilgrims the attention they deserve. He, however, warned that their attendance in the various local government areas would be monitored and anyone found wanting would not be rewarded. 

In his response, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Ulamau, Imam Raji Opeyemi appreciated the Secretary for the privilege of the meeting. He promised a cordial working relationship with the scheduled officers and the intending pilgrims in order to actualise a successful operation this year. 

While stressing further that his members would equally undergo orientation before the commencement of the weekend lectures, he gave assurances that any member who violates laid down procedures would be sanctioned accordingly. 

While contributing to the discussion, the Director of Operations, Mr. Shamsideen Akanni urged the Ulamau to effectively play their role of training intending pilgrims on every aspect of the spiritual obligation. He also advised them to give their female counterparts the freedom to interact and train the female intending pilgrims separately, saying that women usually express themselves freely when they are amongst themselves.

Some of the executives that accompanied the Ulamau Chairman to the meeting include the General Secretary, Imam Shuaib Olomoda; PRO, Alh. Shafiu Mumuney;  Assistant General Secretary, Alh. Abdul-Quadri Agiri and the Assistant Treasurer, Alh. AbdulRasak Abdullahi, among others.

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