The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki has commended the Edo State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (EMPWB) on the successful 2019 Hajj exercise, reaffirming his administration’s commitment to inclusive policies.
The governor gave the commendation after receiving the 2019 Hajj report from the Amir-Hajj and Onojie of Ewu, His Royal Highest (HRH) Alhaji Razak Ojiefo III, at Government House in Benin City.
He said the success recorded in the 2019 Hajj exercise can be attributed to the quality of leadership provided by the Pilgrims Welfare Board to Muslim pilgrims who visited the Holy Land, adding “I commend the great work of the Board as it has led to the success recorded in the 2019 Hajj exercise in Saudi-Arabia. It is less than 90 days you came back and you have a very well documented report which will encourage us to do more.
“As a government, we believe in inclusiveness. We are a government for all Edo people irrespective of religion, ethnic group, or political affiliation. We see ourselves responsible for every Edo person and cater to their need. This is the philosophy of my administration.”
Obaseki noted, “We thank God for the progress made so far as we have spent less achieving more with greater value because we have opened the space for participation of Edo people in every area of the state’s economy.”
He added that the administration will study the request for more staffing for the Board as he expressed concern over the number of medical personnel who travelled with the pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, noting that the issue will be promptly considered in line with the recommendations of the Board.
On the need to engage the services of more airlines for airlifting pilgrims from the holy land to ensure they are not stranded, Obaseki said he will draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to the issue.
“I will make sure I raise the issue at the National Economic Council and check with my other colleagues to see if it is a common problem and make recommendations to the President to open up the process of allowing more airlines. This is to ensure that Nigerian pilgrims are not stranded in the Holy Land,” he said.
The leader of delegation and 2019 Amir-Hajj, HRH Alhaji Razak Ojiefo III thanked the governor for his disposition towards Muslims in the state.
He commended Governor Obaseki for the successful completion of the Hajj camp in Edo State, adding, “136 pilgrims travelled from the state to the Holy land and all Edo pilgrims returned to the state. We didn’t record any case of abscondment. The National Hajj Commission visited Edo State pilgrims at our camp and commended the pilgrims for conducting themselves excellently.”