… Muslim Pilgrims Prepare For 2018 Pilgrimage
Yakubu Busari, Jos
Officials have explained how two persons absconded in the Jerusalem during the 2017 pilgrimage by Christian Pilgrims from Plateau State.
Information available states that those who disappeared in their hotels rooms were not the indigenes of the state but registered for the trip with certificates indicating they were from local governments and part of Plateau state contingents.
The Executive Secretary of Christian Pilgrim Board, Rev Fr George Gorap confirmed that the two persons disguised as indigenes from Plateau state.
He said: “We experience spill over of names of those who were unable to go to holy land in 2017, so we decided to accommodate them first before embarking of fresh awareness campaign.”
He explained further that about 94 people whose names were spillovers to the 2018 season were merely forwarded for accreditation so as to address their plight.
Rev Fr Gorap maintains that ahead of another batch for 2018 contingents preparation “we are going round to churches announcing to their denominational heads to educate their members on the need to sponsor members.”
He disclosed that the board would take serious measure to tackle those who are always in the habit of selling their tickets and seat, warning that under his watch it would not be a business as usual.
Meanwhile, the Plateau State Muslim Pilgrim Board, has disclosed that at least no fewer than 821 intending pilgrims are to be airlifted for the 2018 hajj in Saudi Arabia. The state government is sponsoring 620 while the remaining 205 are self sponsored.
Barr. Awal Abdullahi, Executive Secretary, who made this disclosure at the opening ceremony for the pilgrims held inside the compound of board premises in Jos on Thursday, charged the intending pilgrims to perform this year hajj by reflecting on the current crisis in the country and pray for the federal and state governments, including Governor Simon Lalong for his commitments to peace building .
Abdullahi commended Governor Lalong for sponsoring 620 people, which he considered as the highest number of this year intending pilgrims across the 36 States under government -sponsored list.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Yahaya Jingir has charged the traveling Muslims to see themselves as an ambassadors of Nigeria and conduct themselves with decorum and discipline