Hajj 2024: Saudi King honours 30 Nigerians as guests

Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

Thirty Nigerians, including a Financial and Taxation Expert, Dr. Awa Ibraheem, have been honoured as guests of King Salman bin AbdulAzeez Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, who is the custodian of the two Holy Mosques, for the ongoing 2024 Hajj exercise.

Dr Awa Ibraheem is the Chairman/CEO of ICMA Services Limited company engaged in financial management.

Among other Nigerians also honoured are the Kwara State Grand Khadi, Justice Abdullateef Kamaldeen, Retired Kwara State Grand Khadi, Justice Idris Haroun, a Lagos State Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Imran Eleha, the First Lady of Jigawa State, Hajia Hadiza Ndamadi and Queen Seidat Almubarak, wife of Dr Awa Ibraheem.

Apart from Nigeria, the invitation was also extended to 90 other countries of the world.

The invitation, according to a statement by Ambassador Faisal
Ibrahim Al-Ghamidy of the Royal Embassy in Abuja, stressed that the significance of this honour was based on the individual’s contributions to the expansion of Islamic education and enlightenment which is usually done on a yearly basis during pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on the development, Dr. Ibraheem, applauded King Salman for honouring him and others with special invitation as guests to this year’s Hajj, disclosing that: “Some prominent people that have contributed and are still contributing to the development of Islamic education and enlightenment are usually invited by the Saudi King to perform hajj as his guests”.

It would be recalled that Dr. Awa Ibraheem was the Amir Hajj for Kwara State in year 2022, leading the State Pilgrims to perform that year’s Hajj that was rated as one of the most successful in the history of pilgrimage in the State.

The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja had earlier bid farewell to the Nigerian pilgrims that departed for the 2024 Hajj.

The ceremony, presided over by Ambassador Faisal Ibrahim Al-Ghamidy, also included the guests of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who were specially invited as guests of the Royal King of Saudi Arabia, as it is the custom every year. Also,
officials, dignitaries, and selected pilgrims were in attendance.

Ambassador Al-Ghamidy emphasised the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s dedication and commitment to serving and caring for pilgrims traveling to Mecca’s Sacred House of Allah.

The embassy’s farewell ceremony marked the beginning of the pilgrims’ journey to the Holy Land.

Ambassador Al-Ghamidy stressed the significance of this mission and the pride with which the Kingdom assumes the responsibility of ensuring a safe and spiritually fulfilling Hajj experience for all pilgrims.

According to him, this reflects the Kingdom’s long-standing commitment to facilitating the pilgrimage for Muslims worldwide, adding that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has consistently prioritised the well-being and comfort of pilgrims visiting the Holy Sites.

“Under the visionary leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kingdom has made substantial investments to enhance the pilgrimage experience, ensuring that all visitors can perform their religious duties with ease, peace of mind, and a deep sense of spiritual connection, he added”

The Ambassador extended his heartfelt gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed for their unwavering commitment and generous directives aimed at overcoming all challenges faced by pilgrims and Umrah participants.

He acknowledged the meticulous planning and extensive measures put in place by the Kingdom to accommodate and serve the millions of Muslims who undertake the Hajj pilgrimage each year.

This dedication, he noted, underscores the deep spiritual and cultural importance of the Hajj and the Umrah in the Islamic faith.

A symbolic “Pilgrim’s Gift” was presented to the Nigerian guests as a token of appreciation and support, representing the Kingdom’s dedication to their comfort and well-being during the pilgrimage.


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