HAJJ 2024: Gov Fubara, unprecedentedly, raises Muslim pilgrims’ BTA from official $420 each to $720

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*Urges them ‘don’t bring Rivers, Nigeria to disrepute’

By KEMI KASUMU

 

The Governor disclosed that knowing pilgrims are having challenges with their Basic Travel Allowances (BTA) therefore he has provided additional US $300 to each pilgrim apart from their $420, taking the BTA to US$720 for each pilgrim whether under public or private quota.

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has charged pilgrims from Rivers State embarking on this year’s Hajj not to engage in acts that will bring the state and the country to disrepute, but be great ambassadors.

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Governor Fubara also emphasised that the pilgrims should engage in special prayers that will bring blessings and development to the country, as he said it was a privilege for them to embark on the holy journey.

The Governor gave the charge while addressing the pilgrims in preparation for their airlift at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, on Tuesday June 4, 2024.

“I wish you well and also say you’re privileged to embark on this holy journey. What you owe the country and State is prayers for a better country and better state. We believe strongly that you’re going to be good ambassadors to us.

“You will not do anything to bring any form of shame to us, so I want to join the Hajj Commission and every one that has supported in one way or the other to say journey mercy. Come back with blessings that will bring development and growth to our dear country,” he said.

The Governor disclosed that knowing pilgrims were having challenges with their Basic Travel Allowances (BTA), that he had therefore provided additional US$300 to each of the Muslim pilgrims apart from their $420, taking the BTA to US$720 for each pilgrim whether under public or private quota.

He said his wish was for them to carry out their religious obligations conveniently and to have the capacity to carry out their hadaya rite with ease.

On his part, the Sole Administrator, Rivers State Muslim Pilgrims Board, Alhaji Diepriye Abdulrasaq, commended Governor Fubara for his kind gesture to sponsor the pilgrims to this year’s Hajj, noting that without God and the Governor’s fatherly support the exercise would not have been successful.

He said the Muslim community in Rivers State were excited about the priority attention Governor Fubara had given to the welfare of Muslims in the state since his assumption of office, and assured that Muslims would continue to be law abiding citizens and pray for Rivers State as a mark of gratitude for the Governor’s goodwill.

According to the Sole Administrator, this year’s pilgrims consist of 45 state sponsored persons, while 5 are self sponsored.

Alhaji Abdulrasaq said Governor Fubara remains the first governor in the country to pay the required funds for the Rivers State contingents which have given them pride of place as they journey to the holy land, and promised to pray for him and the state.

Meanwhile Governor Siminalayi Fubara made a stopover on his way back from the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, at the Obiri Ikwerre Interchange, where there was a gas tanker accident and explosion that blocked access in the axis. He was briefed on the evacuation procedure which was said to take 12 hours.


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