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President Koroma Congratulates 837 Sierra Leone Pilgrims

President Koroma Congratulates 837 Sierra Leone Pilgrims

Mecca: Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has congratulated the 837 Sierra Leone pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the successful completion of their pilgrimage.  (Sierra Leone pilgrims at Mina)

Delivering the congratulatory message on behalf of the President at the tent city of Mina last Saturday, Sierra Leone’s envoy to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E Wusu B. Munu told the pilgrims that the President was very much concerned about their welfare since they left the shores of Sierra Leone.

The Ambassador at Mina tents

“President Koroma telephoned us last night and congratulated all of you for a successful completion of the 2012 Hajj. He was extremely happy that Allah has honoured you with the performance of the fifth pillar of Islam and the honour of visiting all the sacred places in the holy land,” the envoy conveyed the President’s message to the pilgrims.

He continued: “The President also prayed that Allah accept your Hajj and forgive all your sins and wished you a safe return to Sierra Leone,” adding, “the President is anxiously waiting to receive you in Freetown in the next few days.”

The Ambassador described this year’s Hajj as the best arranged so far since Government took over the organization of Hajj in 2010.

Sierra Leone male pilgrims praying for their country

Female pilgrims led by a student offering prayers for their nation

The Ambassador also extended President Koroma’s appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz al- Saud, his Government and particularly the Chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee for the excellent facilities and arrangements put in place for use by the pilgrims in this year’s Hajj season.

He added that pilgrims performed the Hajj rituals with ease and comfort due to the excellent services and facilities provided to them by the Saudi Government and its hospitable people.

Ambassador Munu appealed to the pilgrims to strive to maintain excellent relationship with their compatriots in accordance with the lessons of brotherhood, love and equality learnt during the Hajj exercise, emphasizing the fact that; the money, time, energy and constraints they endured during the Hajj activities should serve as a frame of reference to put into practice all that the Hajj rigours demand.

Shekitoo in the midst of excited pilgrims

In another engagement, Head of the 2012 Mission, Alhaji Sheka Sahid Kamara (aka Shekito) who also doubles as Special Assistant to H.E the President on Social Affairs was invited on the same by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at a reception ceremony hosted for Heads of Hajj Missions and Islamic leaders performing this year’s Hajj.

Shekitoo sandwiched by Saudi Hajj officials at the Sierra Leone camp

The ceremony which attracted some world leaders was held at the Royal Court at Mina Palace – and according to KSA TV, attendees include, Malaysian King, Motassem Billah Moheb-Eddin Tuango Al-Hajj Abdulhalim, Guinean President, Alpha Conde, Indonesian Vice President, Dr. Bodiono, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Prime Minister of the Republic of Djibouti, Dileita Mohamed Dileit, among others.

Head of Hajj mission coming out of the King’s Palace

In a brief interview after the reception, Sheka Kamara also thanked the King and his Government on behalf of the Hajj Mission for the exemplary arrangements made this year. He commended them for the programmes introduced to ensure the security and safety of the pilgrims, as well as their well-being and comfort.

He also hailed them for the improved facilities and services put in place – housing, health care, sanitation and transportation – factors he said, contributed immensely to the success of this year’s pilgrimage.

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