Hajj 2024: Ogun Pilgrims Excited as Departure Nears - The People's Voice

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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Hajj 2024: Ogun Pilgrims Excited as Departure Nears


By Oluwanifemi Idowu

Following their completion of Hajj for the year 2024 and anticipating departure, pilgrims from Ogun State have expressed excitement, a sense of fulfillment, and gratitude to God for a successful spiritual journey in Saudi Arabia.

A vox-pop conducted with some of the pilgrims revealed generally positive feelings regarding their personal spiritual experiences and the efficiency of the Ogun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, through which they embarked on the journey.

Reflecting on his Hajj experience, Alhaji Tijani Fadilullaih, a pilgrim from Imasayi, Yewa-North, expressed deep satisfaction with his performance of the Hajj rites, describing each stage as life-changing, while praying for God's acceptance of his supplications.

"This Hajj has been a transformative experience for me. Climbing Mount Arafat, performing the Tawaf around the Kaaba, and all the prayers in between have brought me closer to Allah," he said.

Alhaja Fatimah Adekunle, a civil servant from Ijebu North Local Government, echoed similar sentiments, describing the processes as profound, particularly the symbolic stoning of the pillars at Jamarat, adding that it was an experience she would cherish forever.

She said the state officials were diligent in ensuring that all pilgrims performed their Hajj rites completely, advising the 2025 pilgrims to do their best and to be good ambassadors of the state.

Alhaji Mubarak Bello, another pilgrim from Odeda Local Government Area, rated the hospitality arrangements of the State Pilgrims Board highly, saying he felt safe and cared for throughout his stay in Mecca and Medina.

He, however, lamented that the pilgrims could have benefited from more frequent sensitization regarding the Hajj rites, adding that the Board should consider hiring more clerics for practical guidance in subsequent Hajj operations.

Alhaja Basirat Akanbi, from Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, said she thoroughly enjoyed her trip with the State Pilgrims Welfare Board and commended the management for a job well done.

"Many of us were very surprised when we heard about the shortfall in our Basic Transport Allowances. We didn't plan for this. But to my surprise, Governor Abiodun came to our rescue by covering the shortfall. This is great welfarism from someone who is not even a Muslim. It shows he is not partial when it comes to religious divides. May Allah bless him richly," she said.

Meanwhile, Alhaji Olusegun Tijani, a legal practitioner based in Benin Republic, who performed the pilgrimage through Ogun State, 
described the Board's performance as decent but suggested that much more needs to be done to address the timing and coordination lapses in some of the Hajj activities.

He expressed optimism that the Ogun Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board would adopt a more digital approach in relating to pilgrims prior to their airlifting to Medina for the next Hajj.

-END

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