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Transportation of pilgrims to Saudi commences on August 18

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Saturday announced that it would commence transportation of Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia on August 18.

The Chairman of the Commission, Malam Abdullahi Mukhtar, made the announcement after inaugurating the Medical Team for 2015 hajj exercise in Abuja.

Mukhtar, who was represented by Dr Saleh Okenwa, the Commissioner in charge of strategy, said the Commission was fully prepared for this year’s Hajj.

He said all necessary arrangements had been put in place for the commencement of the exercise.

Mukhtar added that the Commission had provided medical facilities for Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia and urged them to discharge their duties as expected of them.

He promised that this year’s exercise was going to be different from previous exercises because of the level of the Commission’s preparation.

In his remarks, the Commissioner in charge of the Medical Team, Dr Ibrahim Kana, commended the Commission for the medical arrangements put in place for this year’s exercise.

He said that “with what I have seen on ground, I have no doubt in my mind that this year’s Hajj will be exceptionally successful.

“With the kind of professionals that made up the Medical Team, the sky is just our starting point.’’

Kana promised the team of adequate accommodation in the Holy Land, and warned, however, that team members should not occupy a whole room for whatever reasons.

“The culture is one bed space per person and not a whole room per person and please people should not lock rooms for whatever reasons.

“We will make sure nobody suffers, whatever the team is entitle to will be given, no denial.’’

Kano also urged the team to give the best services to the pilgrims and promised them of safety of their luggage.

He added that “gone are the days when luggage spend several weeks before getting to the owners.’’

He called on the medical team to be professional in carrying out their duties and to dress decently.

“We are going to conduct pregnancy tests on all the females in the Medical Team too to ascertain their status,’’ he added.

Meanwhile, the National Amirul Hajj and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, was expected to announce the state that would have the first batch to be transported to the Holy Land.

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Ferdinand Marcos Jr sworn in as Philippines president

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Ferdinand Marcos Jr sworn in as Philippines president

Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son and namesake of the Philippines’ late dictator, has been sworn in as the country’s new president.

Marcos Jr’s inauguration on Thursday marks a stunning political comeback for one of Asia’s most famous political dynasties, 36 years after the elder Marcos was toppled and forced into exile in a popular uprising.

Known as “Bongbong”, the 64-year-old Marcos Jr won a rare landslide victory in last month’s presidential election, helped by what critics have said was a years-long campaign to whitewash his family’s image.

He succeeds Rodrigo Duterte, who gained international notoriety for his deadly drug war and has threatened to kill suspected dealers after he leaves office.

The new president, in a speech that echoed his campaign slogans of unity, promised to take the country far on his watch with policies benefiting everyone, and thanked the public for delivering what he called “the biggest electoral mandate in the history of Philippine democracy”.

“You will not be disappointed, so do not be afraid,” he said at the inauguration ceremony, surrounded by his immediate family and with his sister Imee, a senator, and 92-year-old mother Imelda, a former four-time congresswoman, seated close by.

Marcos Jr also praised his late father’s rule, but said his presidency was not about the past, but a better future.

“I once knew a man who saw what little had been achieved since independence …. but he got it done sometimes with the needed support, sometimes without,” he said. “So will it be with his son. You will get no excuses from me.”

The late Marcos ruled the Philippines for two decades from 1965, almost half of it under martial law, helping him to extend his grip on power until his overthrow and his family’s retreat into exile during the 1986 People Power Revolution. Thousands of Marcos opponents were jailed, killed or disappeared during his rule, and the family name became synonymous with cronyism, extravagance and the disappearance of billions of dollars from state coffers.

The Marcos family has rejected accusations of embezzlement.

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2023 Sallah: Sultan declares July 9 Eid al-Adha

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Sultan of Sokoto

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, on Wednesday, declared July 9 as Eid al-Adha.

Also known as Sallah, Eid al-Adha will feature the slaughtering of ram during the period known as the “festival of sacrifice”.

This is the second significant celebration in Islam.

The first is Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.

In a statement issued by the National Moonsighting Committee, the Sultan urged Muslims to intensify prayers during the period.

It also declared Thursday, June 30, as the first day of Dhul Hijjah.

“Eidul Adha will be on Saturday, 10th Zul-Hijjah 1443H (9th July 2022) In Sha Allah,” the statement read in part.

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Abducted wife of Zamfara NULGE chairman gives birth in captivity

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A woman identified as Ramatu Yunusa with nine months of pregnancy, abducted at Damba area of Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, has reportedly given birth at the bandits’ camp.

According to the husband, Mr. Yunusa, Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Zamfara State chapter, the woman delivered at about 3 am on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at the bandits’ camp.

He said he was not even allowed to see his wife and the baby.

“As I am talking to you now, I don’t know whether the new born baby is a boy or a girl but all I know is that my wife has given birth to the baby,” he lamented.

According to him, the bandits demanded any amount as ransom, stressing that the situation was very worrisome to him and the family.

It was gathered that the woman, Ramatu Yunusa, is a nurse with the Federal Medical Center in Gusau, the State capital.

She was kidnapped in the early hours of Tuesday, 28 day of June, 2022, at her Damba residence in Gusau, the State capital.

All efforts by journalists to get reaction from the State Police command proved abortive as the State police spokesman, SP Mohammed Shehu did not respond to calls.

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