‘Why pilgrims should be law-abiding in Saudi Arabia’
A note of warning has been sounded to intending pilgrims of the 2015 Hajj exercise to fully comply with the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, especially, as it concerns trafficking of illicit drugs.
Guest speaker at the Hajj Seminar organised by Hajj Mabrur Ventures Limited (HMVL) for its pilgrims in Lagos, Alhaji Wasiu Amao, said that diplomatic relationship with Nigeria would not save any erring pilgrim from being executed.
Amao, a legal expert said: “To be forewarned is to be forearmed. I am telling you categorically that if you do not comply with Saudi Arabia law, Nigeria government cannot intercede on your behalf because, it is better not to indulge in anything that will earn you punishment there.
There are offences that attract punishments in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, it depends on the levity of one’s offence, so you have to be well informed and that is the reason for organising this enlightenment programme.
Nigeria cannot intervene when it comes to offence that attracts punishment in Saudi Arabia. “In Saudi Arabia, drug trafficking attracts death penalty.
By the virtue of diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, we are expected to comply to all the rules of Saudi Arabia. So, for the period of your pilgrimage, which is three or four weeks, you have to comply to all the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Amao enjoined the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Nigeria and Hajj Mabrur Ventures, because by so doing, “they will not blacklist our country and the company.”
The Principal Staff Officer Operations and Intelligence of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Lagos State Command, Isiaka Opeloyeru, said it is the wish of the agency that none of the pilgrims is found wanting in respect to illicit drugs. Our coming here is to enlighten them.
Opeloyeru told the pilgrims to stay off illicit drugs that can implicate them. The consequences, he said, will not only affect the pilgrim but the nation too. He urged them to always get doctor’s prescription if they must go with drugs.
Speaking in the same vein, HMVL Managing Director, Alhaji AbdulHamid Solate, appealed to the pilgrims to heed the advice of the lawyer and NDLEA official. Hajj Mabrur, Solate said, is not out for profit-making; rather to assist pilgrims perform hajj rites in line with prophetic tradition.
The former Secretary General of the Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (AHOUN) Dr Abdulwaasi’ Gabadeen, urged the pilgrims to cooperate with Hajj Mabrur officials before and during the pilgrimage. “Let’s be patient with our tour operator; we must understand that Saudi Arabia is not their own country when making demands. They cannot go outside Saudi law,” he said.
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