The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has admonished Muslim pilgrims to always reinforce Nigeria’s high profile in the international community through their conducts and behaviours during hajj activities.
Director General of NOA, Garba Abari who gave the admonition when he paid a working visit on the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Barrister Abdullahi Mohammed, stressed the need and urgency for national citizens’ reorientation, adding that Nigeria has a high international profile which must be reflected by Nigerians during pilgrimage as people who are not only on religious duty but are also ambassadors of their country.
Abari said although character and morals are captured in religious injunctions, there is need to frequently remind Nigerians about them so they can reflect them in their conducts and behaviours. He said Muslim pilgrims needed to be thoroughly sensitized on the rules and laws of the host nation before they leave the shores of Nigeria so as to avoid running foul of the regulations if the holy land.
The NOA boss stressed the need for Nigeria’s flag to be mounted at strategic locations in the holy land to help Nigerian pilgrims identify points of convergence and necessary services throughout the pilgrimage. This, he said, necessitated a close collaboration between NOA and NAHCON as well as the Muslim clergy to ensure that national symbols are properly displayed in the holy land and the right information is communicated to would-be pilgrims about both the religious and national expectations they must fulfill during their pilgrimage.
NAHCON Chairman, Abdullahi Mohammed said the Commission has an orientation mandate to sensitize all Muslim pilgrims in all states of the Federation as only well-informed pilgrims can perform hajj acceptably, adding that NOA’s assistance in this regard is invaluable. He noted that NOA has a history of aggressive social reorientation, especially through its War Against Indiscipline (WAI) brigade, urging the Agency to immediately rekindle the WAI message.
He also requested the participation of NOA in the Hajj Implementation and Compliance Committee whose mandate is to ensure that contractual agreements are adhered to by affected parties throughout the forthcoming hajj pilgrimage