FILE PHOTO: Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia

The Executive Secretary of the Lagos Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr Musbau Okoya, has urged intending pilgrims from Lagos State to get set for their medical tests after the Ramadan.

Okoya stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

He said that some hospitals in the state have been designated for the tests.

“Medical tests for the pilgrims will come up immediately after the month of Ramadan. You know it is important to know the health status of our pilgrims, to identify those who will need special care.

“Hospitals approved for the medical tests are the General Hospitals in Lagos, Epe, Ikorodu, Badagry, Gbagada, Ifako, Amuwo Odofin, and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja,” he said.

Okoya advised the intending pilgrims to be spiritually prepared for the exercise and to put to use all they have been taught in the various seminars that were organised for them.

“The Pilgrimage is a rare opportunity to get Allah’s forgiveness for past sins, and to seek His favours.

“We have been educating our intending pilgrims on the proper ways to go about achieving all these, and I will urge them to remember all they were told and to put them to use.

“It is not an opportunity to embark on a shopping spree,” he advised.

Okoya urged intending pilgrims who had yet to complete their payments to do so on time.

“Some people have still not made the full payment for the Hajj; we can only appeal to them to do so on time, so that we can conclude all the processes in good time.

“We understand that times are hard, but with Allah, things will not be too difficult for us,’’ he said.

Okoya said that the Saudi Arabian authorities have made the national identity card a compulsory requirement for all pilgrims.

He urged them to come forward to the board’s office at Ikeja to register for the cards.

“The Saudi authorities have made it compulsory for all pilgrims to have their national identity cards this year.

“To this end, and considering the time lapse, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) approved a registration centre in our office, solely for intending pilgrims.

“Those of them that have yet to register should all come to our office for their national identity card registration,” he added.