By Peace Chenu
A total of twelve pilgrims in Ajeromi Ifelodun federal constituency of Lagos State are beneficiaries of sponsored pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj by Hon Francis Bartholomew Chima aka OmoBarca.
As a generous philanthropist and politician, OmoBarca has been sponsoring constituents of Ajeromi Ifelodun for the annual Hajj irrespective of political affiliation to Saudi Arabia since 2011 as a means of giving back to society and as an assignment from God.
According to his media aide, Obinna Francis Solace, the criteria for selection of beneficiaries includes being a committed Muslim faithful known to be religious enough to deserve the honour of hajj and they must be residents of Ajeromi Ifelodun LGA.
The selected pilgrims will depart for Saudi Arabia by the end of May. Responding after the prayer and dinner session that took place at his office, Mba Street Ajegunle and Garden Tops Hotel, Amuwo Odofin respectively, the beneficiaries were delighted and excited about the impending religious exercise. They prayed individually and collectively for Omobarca asking God to continue blessing and providing for him. They also prayed for his family, business, and political career.
In his remarks, OmoBarca assured the lucky pilgrims that the trip will be a yearly occurrence. He also advised them to pray for themselves more when they arrive in Saudi Arabia and he will be very happy to see them progressing in their works of life and family within some period of their return.
He also advised that they use the pocket money he will give them for feeding and not bother about buying him any gifts. He also encouraged them to be good ambassadors of Ajeromi Ifelodun and Nigeria.
Some personalities who graced the event include Hon. Gbenga Adeniyi PDP candidate for House of Representatives, Ikeja federal constituency, Hon. Charles Ejimadu, Director General, OmoBarca Campaign Team, Mr. Chinedu Anigbo aka Baggio, Mr. Obinna Stephen aka Obyno-China, Alhaja Shittu Adenike a 2022 Hajj beneficiary, Hon. Kazeem Ojeleye (Media) and Mr. Obinna Francis Solace.
Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) by the Muslim faithful in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the largest gatherings of its kind in the world. Hajj 1444H (2023) is due to start on 26 June 2023.
The Lagos State government approved the sum of N3,200,000.00 as being total fare to be paid by Intending Pilgrims performing the Year 2023 Hajj exercise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board.
OmoBarca single-handedly covered the fare and other sundry expenses for the 12 beneficiaries.