Hajj 2015: Pilgrims warned against drug, conmen

SHAFAQNA - Intending Muslim pilgrims to this year’s hajj in Saudi Arabia have been warned against carrying illicit drugs and also to be conscious of whom they associate with to avoid falling victims of dubious characters who may trick them into being drug mules.
Officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) gave the warning yesterday in Abuja at the 5th annual Hajj seminar of the Hajj Mabrur Ventures Limited for intending pilgrims of the organisation.
A total of 160 seats were allocated to the organisation for this year’s exercise by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
A Principal Staff Officer with the NDLEA, Labbo Sulaiman, warned that any pilgrim caught with any illicit drug, irrespective of the quantity, would not only bring shame to himself or herself, such shame would be extended to the person’s family and the nation.
“There is zero tolerance for drug in Saudi Arabia. Quantity does not matter; even a pinch of any illegal substance can lead to a life sentence or execution. So pilgrims must be very careful of whom they associate with and should not help anyone hold caps, bags or other items where an unscrupulous person,” Sulaiman cautioned.
An Assistant Superintendent of Customs, A. T. Bello, listed prohibited substances and other materials that would not be allowed into Saudi Arabia.
Bello, however, urged those on medication to get proper clarifications from the appropriate authorities before they depart so that they can be properly guided. He advised them it would be better for them to buy the prescribed drug in the holy land’s pharmacies to be on the safer side.
Dr Abdulhameed Ridwan of the National Hospital, Abuja; Operation Manager of Hajj Mabrur, Alhaji Zulkifli Babatunde Adewumi and Operation Officer of Hajj Mabrur, Moshhod Lambo Alabi, among others, also admonished the pilgrims to be of good conduct and avoid acts capable of rendering their journey and money useless.

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