Pilgrimage: Saraki Inaugurates 10-Man Committee

The Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, yesterday inaugurated a 10- man committee on Muslim and Christian pilgrimages.

The committee which is headed by a former Grand Kadi of Kwara state, Justice Idris Haroon is to coordinate pilgrimages’ sponsorship by the Senate President.
Among other duties, the committee will select and screen those to be sponsored for Hajj, Umrah and Jerusalem pilgrimages by Saraki.

Speaking during the inauguration of the committee which also has the secretary of the state’s chapter of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Cornelius Fawenu as a member, Saraki said he decided to take over the responsibility of sponsoring Muslim and Christian faithful on pilgrimages because the government could no longer do it because of economic challenges.

Explaining the rationale behind his decision, the Senate President said “any good leader must at all times listen to the yearnings of his people.”

“We have our Muslim and Christian brothers desirous of observing the pilgrimages, but could not afford the cost. We will help such people with a forum through which they can realise their dreams.We may not be able to do like the government which used to sponsor about 400 when I was governor of Kwara state, we will start with 100. The coming Umrah( lesser Hajj) shall be the starting point.”

Responding, the chairman of the committee, Justice Haroon thanked Allah for preserving Saraki’ s life and for what he has been able to achieve, not only in the state but the entire country.

He praised the Senate President for his initiative, saying that “this which you have initiated as a true Muslim, is the first of its kind in this state and Nigeria.”
He assured that the committee’s members will work assiduously to meet the aspirations of the people.
“We will do our job with fear of God and shall ensure that only pious people are selected for the exercise,” Haroon stated.

The CAN secretary, Rev. Cornelius Fawenu described the inauguration of the committee as “a day that has gone into Guinness book of record as unprecedented”.

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