He debunked all fake rumors making the rounds relating to some pilgrims stranded at the Saudi airport. He said all 900 pilgrims landed and got a swift reception at the airport and were in no minute escorted to the comfortable hotels for preparation for the ritual.
The deputy minister furthered that all the pilgrims are well fed and taken care of since their arrivals. So far, he went on, all is good and no sick or casualty reported on Sierra Leone’s side of the pilgrims.
It can be recalled that last Saturday, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio and Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh bided farewell to 900 Sierra Leoneans performing this year’s Islamic pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
While addressing the prospective pilgrims at the Siaka Stevens Stadium, the President congratulated them for having successfully gone through the process of registration and said he was delighted to bid them farewell on behalf of the government and people of Sierra Leone.
He encouraged them to be good ambassadors of Sierra Leone in the Holy City of Mecca and be prepared for the challenges ahead of them. He also admonished them to follow instructions of the authorities accompanying them to be able to perform the Hajj pilgrimage successfully.
President Bio reminded the prospects of the chaos and scandal that characterized the preparation for the Islamic pilgrimage, but recalled that since his government last year sanity had returned to the organization of the pilgrimage.
He called on them to pray for the country and pray with him at State House on their return from Hajj, a central pillar of the Islamic faith that is meant to cleanse followers of their sins and bring them closer to God.
President Bio concluded his farewell message by thanking his Vice President, Dr Juldeh Jalloh, for his leadership on the Hajj preparation, the Minister and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and members of the Hajj Committee for successful preparation.