Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, on Monday urged intending Muslim pilgrims to pray for peace to reign in Nigeria when they are in Saudi Arabia to perform this year’s Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Ishaku spoke at the Model Primary School Jalingo, while biding farewell to some 300 intending Muslim pilgrims from Taraba State.
At least, 746 Muslim pilgrims will perform the Hajj in Saudi Arabia this year. Out of the 746 pilgrims, 296 are sponsored by Taraba, making Taraba State to be ranked among the first three highest sponsors of Muslims to Mecca this year, a repeat of last year’s feat.
“Your responsibility, as you perform this religious requirement, is to pray fervently for peace and development in Taraba and Nigeria.
“The State is in dire need of peace. That is why you must pray to God to restore peace, tolerance and understanding among the citizens of the State, so that we can be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers,” the governor said.
He added: “My Muslim brothers and sisters, it is expected that at the end of the pilgrimage, you will imbibe the lessons of affection and oneness that are embedded in the Hajj operation to become agents of peace and peaceful coexistence.
“It is incumbent on every Muslim, and indeed non-Muslims alike, to always pray for the country and those that God in his infinite mercies has put in positions of authority because leadership comes from Him alone.”
Ishaku explained that, although, the methods may differ how we worship God, we however, have more in common than the insignificant differences which most people often tend to amplify to our collective detriment.
He charged the pilgrims to be good ambassadors Nigeria and respect and abide by the statutes of the Saudi Government, by being disciplined and orderly.
He assured the pilgrims of a hitch-free and successful holy pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and back to Nigeria.
The State government said it has secured the Max Airlines for the uplifting of the pilgrims from Taraba State.
Ambassador Waziri Idris who is leading the delegation, pleaded with the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Taraba state while away and to also remember that prayer is the reason for the journey.