Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Government Saturday organised a departure ceremony for 90 pilgrims from the state in readiness for their journey for the 2016 hajj with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, urging the intending pilgrims to be of good conduct and ambassadors of the state and country.
Okowa also took the opportunity to advise Muslim and Christian leaders in the state not to relent in working in love towards the sustenance of peace in the state, saying they should always “exercise restraint and maturity” in their activities and messages to their followers.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Tam Brisibe, stressed that commitment to peace, love and hood neighbourliness remained the hallmark of religious harmony through mutual tolerance and peaceful co-existence.
He urged anyone among those departing for the Muslim pilgrimage in Mecca to perish the thought of possibly absconding in the holy land.
Similarly, he warned anyone nursing criminal intentions to reconsider such thoughts as the state government would not hesitate to bring legal sanction against any erring pilgrim irrespective of whoever might be involved.
The governor underscored the fact that the security operatives in Saudi Arabia are no respecter of persons, advising the intending pilgrims to submit themselves to the directives of the Saudi authorities throughout the spriritual exercise.
Okowa, who commended everyone involved in the rigorous preparations for the pilgrimage, also urged the intending pilgrims to use this rare privilege of the Hajj to make friends but avoiding needles bickering during the journey.