Hajj: Sanwo-Olu Urges Intending Pilgrims to Avoid Money Laundering

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has warned intending pilgrims to avoid money laundering as they embark on the spiritual exercise.

He urged them to shun any form of criminal act during their pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Sanwo-Olu gave the admonition at a one-day seminar and special prayers organised for the Year 2024 Hajj Intending Pilgrims, held in Ikeja, on Thursday.

The seminar, organised by the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board and Ministry of Home Affairs, had the theme “Significance of Hajj in the Lifetime of Man”.

The governor, represented by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), said money laundering attracted severe penalties for anyone found culpable.

He advised them to refrain from carrying prohibited items such as hard drugs, kolanuts, and bitter kola, among others.

Sanwo-Olu charged the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Nigeria and the state.

“Conduct yourselves with respect and avoid behaviour that will tarnish the image of our state and nation, and obey rules and regulations guiding your stay.

The governor promised to take responsibility for payment of sacrificial lambs, visits to holy sites, and the spiritual clothing of all the pilgrims from the state.

“I urge you to pray for the state and Nigeria. Offer supplications for the success of our President and his administration’s efforts at rebuilding and developing our nation.

Also, pray for peace, tranquillity and progress in Lagos as the government continues to strive towards ensuring the delivery of dividends of democracy through the realisation of the THEMES Plus agenda,” he said.

The governor prayed that Almighty Allah would accept their supplications and grant them safe return.

Mr Olanrewaju Layode, Commissioner for Home Affairs, enjoined the 1,875 participants from Lagos to be of good conduct and emulate those who had gone before them.
In his lecture, with the theme “Significance of Hajj in the Lifetime of Man”, Chief Imam, Igbogbo Central Mosque, Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Sheikh AbdulRahman Lukman, harped on the essence of the pilgrimage.

He said that for Hajj to be acceptable by Allah, one must be free of all sins and undoings.
The cleric said that the purpose of Hajj was to have an in-depth experience of God’s words,  to be knowledgeable about Allah, to know the truth and follow it.

He said the significance of Hajj, as expected by pilgrims, was having the highest level of spirituality.

“The purpose of Hajj is for spiritual benefits, it teaches one holiness and to have the fear of Allah during and after the Hajj,” he said.

The cleric reminded the intending pilgrims that Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam, advising them to see it as a rare privilege to be closer to Allah.

He urged them to go to Hajj with good minds, good deeds, and love of mankind and make their requests in the name of Allah.

Earlier in his welcome address, Imam Shakiru Gafar, the board chairman, urged the participants to ask questions where necessary and adhere strictly to the rules.

The special prayers were offered for a successful administration of President Tinubu, Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, and Lagos residents.

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