Be good ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Uzodimma charges Imo Muslims on Hajj

Photo: Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma CON (3rd right) His Deputy Lady Chinyere Ekomaru PhD(4th left) SGI, Chief Cosmos Iwu (2nd left) HRH Sirkin Hawusa Anwal Baba Suleiman (left) Commissioner Representing South East in National Hajj Commission, Hon. Hajia Aishat Ahmed Obi (2nd right) Executive Secretary Imo State Pilgrims Board, Ugoeze Theresa Ekechi (right) and others during the commencement of the 2024 Hajj held at Government house, Owerri.

Governor Hope Uzodimma has charged Muslims from Imo State going for Haji in Saudia Arabia to be good ambassadors of the State through their behaviour in the Holy Land.

Addressing the intending pilgrims at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Owerri on Sunday, June 2, 2004 preparatory for their departure ,the Governor said least he expects from them on return is an award on good behaviour in Saudi Arabia.
He enjoined them to be “peaceful, cooperate with one another and be united in the Holy Land and avoid anything that will bring shame and ridicule to the State, the Muslim Community and the Nation in general.”
He mandated them to “strive to bring honour and pride back home.”
Governor Uzodimma promised, in their return and settling down, that “government will set up the Imo State Haji Commission that will take responsibility for the planning and organisation of future Muslim pilgrimages.”
He appealed to them to focus on the primary objective of the Hajj, adding, “pray at Saudi Arabia for the well being of Imo State, her growth and development as well as increase in the State revenue that will engender increased number of people going for Hajj in the future.”
Also, he challenged them to “pray fervently that enemies will no more see Imo State and that Imo State will, henceforth, experience unstoppable prosperity,” noting that “God already knows our problems, what He expects from us is speaking to him through prayers.”
The Governor acknowledged that their prayers during last year’s Hajj were positively felt in the State as “Imo returned to peace, the elections were peaceful and the State has been growing and developing tremendously.”
Concluding, he promised that next year’s Hajj will be better than that of this year and urged the coordinators of the programme to coordinate well.
In his remarks, the Sarki Hausawa, HRH Suleiman Awal thanked the Governor for his “magnanimity to the Muslims in Imo State, the show of fatherly love that have made them indigenes, not political but true citizens of the State.”
He informed that in 2023 the Governor sponsored 200 Muslims to Mecca and that this year, despite the economic challenges, he “has provided for 100 Muslims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia,” and described it as “a show of all promises fulfilled.”
He described the Governor as a man of large heart who shows benevolence to both Christians and Muslims in Imo State, without being political and described him as “the best Governor in Hajj sponsorship and freedom of worship in Nigeria.”
He assured the Governor that as the Ammiral Hajj for Imo State, he will remain loyal and that the Muslims in the State will not be a distraction to the Governor.
He prayed that God will bless the Governor and make peace to continue to reign in Imo State.
In her address, the National Commissioner representing South East at the National Muslim Commission, Hajia Aisha Obi, thanked the Governor for his support to the Muslim Community and the special interest he has in ensuring that Muslims in Imo State participate in the Pilgrimage.
She recalled how the Governor had cleared backlog of debts owed by Imo Muslims to the National Commission by the past administrations which she said “has facilitated their participation in the Hajj operations and they will never forget the gesture in a hurry.”
Hajia Obi said the Commission was very appreciative of the Governor’s gesture and will continue to pray for the success of the Governor and his government.
She promised that they will ensure that her team does not bring disrepute or shame to  Imo State in particular and Nigeria in general.
Presenting the Contingents to the Governor, the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Chief Cosmas Iwu described Governor Uzodimma as “an ecumenist and a detribalised Nigerian who does not discriminate between Christians and Muslims.”
He joined the Muslim community to thank the Governor in particular for his magnanimity and in general,all Imo Citizens.
Those present at the programme were the Deputy Governor, Lady (Dr) Chinyere Ekomaru and her husband, Chukwuma, the Senator representing Okigwe zone, Senator Patrick Ndubueze, the APC Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Emma Enukwu, the Chaplain Government House Chapel who is also the Chairman Imo State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Rev. Fr. Dr. Gilbert Alaribe and members of Imo State Expanded Executive Council.

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