President Koroma congratulates 672 Sierra Leonean Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia
Sierra Leone’s President has congratulated the 672 Sierra Leonean pilgrims currently performing the 2010 Hajj on their successful completion of the Hajj rites. (A male pilgrim weeping after an emotional prayer)
Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s congratulatory message was delivered to the pilgrims by the Chairman of the 2010 Hajj Mission, Hon. Minkailu Mansaray who also doubles as the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security and Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E Wusu B. Munu at the Holy site of Mina shortly after the completion of their Hajj rites over the weekend.
The Minister and the Ambassador also extended His Excellency, President Koroma’s appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz al- Saud and his government for the excellent facilities and arrangements put in place for use by the pilgrims.
Both officials conveyed the message of felicitation from the President, reiterating that the President has always been concerned about them and their welfare since they left the shores of Sierra Leone.
“President Ernest Bai Koroma is very much concerned about your welfare. He telephones us on a daily basis to enquire about your welfare. He is indeed a leader who cares for his people,” the Minister and the Ambassador assured the pilgrims.
They commended the pilgrims for their cooperation with both the Sierra Leone Hajj Mission and the Embassy since their arrival and expressed gratitude to all Sierra Leoneans in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including the Sierra Leone Nationals Union and the Student Union for providing adequate support to the pilgrims that made the 2010 Hajj successful.
Hon. Minkailu and Ambassador Munu appealed to the pilgrims to use the holy period to pray for the progress, prosperity, peace and the sustainable development of Sierra Leone.
They also appealed to them to pray for the protection and guidance of their leader, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and for unity, progress and peaceful co-existence in all corners of the country.
They urged the pilgrims to endeavour to maintain their state of purity at all times both in their utterances and general comportment in the secret and in the open.
The Minister and His Excellency the Ambassador 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 endured by them during the Hajj activities should serve as a frame of reference to put into practice all that the Hajj rigours demand.
They urged them to imbibe the virtues of honesty, kindness and love as preached by the Islamic faith.
At Arafat, a pilgrim, Alhaji Umaru Jalloh, who was identified as a Spokesman for the pilgrims thanked the Sierra Leone Hajj Mission on behalf of the pilgrims for the wonderful services they rendered throughout the Hajj.
He stated: “They kept their promise. We performed all the rites, despite the challenges faced by some of us first time pilgrims. They made us feel comfortable. We thank God for giving us this unique opportunity of fulfilling the fifth pillar of Islam.”
The programme was chaired by the Minister Counsellor/Head of Chancery at the Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone in Riyadh, Mr. Ibrahim S. Yilla. Other speakers included, Sheik Abubakar Conteh and Sheik Tejan Sillah of the 2010 Hajj Mission.
The Hajj, considered the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, is an Islamic religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia’s holy land of Mecca where the religion’s most sacred site, Kaaba, is located. The Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam that every able-bodied Muslim performs at least once in his/her life time if the means are available.
Alhaji M.B. Jalloh, Inormation Attaché, Sierra Leone Embassy, Riyadh – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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