Lagos to Reward Clerics for Mobilising 50 Members for Pilgrimage

February 21, 2017

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An initiative to reward religious leaders who mobilize up to 50 members of their religious organization for pilgrimage with one slot each has been introduced by the Lagos State government.

Announcing this yesterday was the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr Abdul-Hakeem Abdul-Lateef, while addressing newsmen at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja.

He explained that the partnership with religious leaders on slots for mobilization of their members was not a negation of the No-pilgrimage Sponsorship of the state government but a modern trend in marketing designed to reward business partners.

Mr Abdul-Lateef said further that the latest initiatives on pilgrimage to holy land were in continuation of the good governance being offered by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who according to him, believes that government exists only to enhance the welfare of the people and not to endanger it.

“Governor Ambode believes that no matter how well built infrastructural facilities are, if the spiritual upliftment and the spiritual wellbeing of the functionaries of government and Lagosians generally who should take ownership of these facilities is not well enhanced, then we have not started.

“That is why there is a holistic approach to governance in Lagos State and we are blind to religion in the state.

“We are blind in the sense that we love ourselves, we do not discriminate on ground of religion; meritocracy is the order of the day and not nepotism and in order to ensure that we walk the talk, the Governor has strengthened the two pilgrims’ board,” Mr Abdul-Lateef said.

The Commissioner also said the state government has put in place a plan to enable Muslims visit Jerusalem, which is normally for Christian pilgrimage.

He explained that this initiative is to enable Muslim have the opportunity to visit the third holiest mosque in Jerusalem.

Mr Abdul-Lateef further said the government has also introduced a part payment system for residents of the state willing to embark on pilgrimage to the holy land to cushion the effect of the current economic realities in the country.

“We also urge Muslims that from this month, we will be accommodating Muslims who intend to visit Jerusalem because Jerusalem is home to the third holiest Mosque,” the Commissioner said.

Giving further details on the instalment plan, he said, “Today (Monday), we are commencing the sale of forms for the Christian Pilgrimage on a new note.

“In response to the economic recession, the state Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved the payment for pilgrimage to Israel, Rome and Greece on instalmental basis. So, Lagosians can begin to pay for pilgrimage with any amount.

“The price for Israel is N580,000 but if anyone intends to combine Israel with Greece and Rome, the price is N720,000.

“With the commencement of the ‘Pay Small Small’, we expect that Lagosians will take advantage of this opportunity to ensure that most of the things they have read in the Bible, they go to Israel and see.”

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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