Our relationship with pilgrims is to provide necessary support and not to sponsor them to the holy land, Lagos State government has said.
The statement was made at a thanksgiving service held for the 2015 Christian Pilgrims to the Holy land of Israel.
Speaking at the event, the state Commissioner of Home Affairs, Abdul Hakeem Abdul Lateef said that the government’s major responsibility is to provide adequate support for the pilgrims from Nigeria to the Holy land.
The commissioner. who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Ebun Grace Oladimeji, explained that the state support comes in terms of proper medicals, adequate orientation and smooth airlifting of the pilgrims.
“Government does not sponsor pilgrims anymore, but we will continue to provide necessary support for them to go there, and for their medicals, among others,” she said.
Oladimeji who was also part of the contingent to the Holy land revealed that there were lots to learn from the journey.
“While in Israel, we saw an orderly society and it’s not so much so because the people there, are different from us, it’s just they have imbibed the habit to obey the law,” she added.
She however enjoined the pilgrims to obey the laws of the land and support the government in its drive for development.
Also speaking at the event was the Executive Secretary of the Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Olayinka Oye-Bamgbose who advised the pilgrims to let the spirit of orderliness, peace and submissiveness which was instilled in them during the exercise to resonate.
According to her “Everything that we have learnt over there and all the blessings we have received must not stop there. They should try as much as possible not to go back to their old ways, they should all continue in that light.”
Some of the pilgrims who spoke with VON also promised to become agents of change and support the current administration in its change mantra.
One of the dignitaries who graced the occasion was the wife of Lagos state Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode.