7th September, 2010
Three thousand people have so far registered for the Christian holy pilgrimage to Jerusalem, officials of the Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board in Lagos State have said.
The intending pilgrims include military men, civil servants, clergymen and private individuals who are keen on visiting the holy land.
As at the time of filing this report, several number of the intending pilgrims were being screened by the officials of the Board.
Meanwhile, the Board has inaugurated a committee to oversee the successful completion of the pilgrimage. Chaired by Dr. Wilson Badejo of the Foursquare Gospel church, the Committee has other men of God including Reverend George Amu and Tunji Adebiyi, while Mrs. Funke Adepoju is the Secretary.
Inaugurating the Committee, the State Commissioner of Home Affairs and Culture, Mr. Babatunde Balogun, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Adedoyin Olusoga, said the State Government had constantly done things to maintain religious harmony in the State.
â€œIt has also continued to support the arrangement and execution of the annual holy pilgrimage exercises for both the Christians and Muslims in the State as the welfare of the participants is always paramount in governmentâ€™s agenda.
â€œIt is on record that Lagos State in recent years has maintained tremendous success in the execution of the Christian pilgrimages,â€ the Commissioner said adding that the 2010 pilgrimage recorded no abscondment rate due to the thorough screening exercise carried out on the intending pilgrims prior to the departure and the commendable way the year 2010 Ad Hoc Committee members monitored the activities of the pilgrims whiles they were in Israel.
While tasking the Committee to ensure a smooth pilgrimage this year, the Commissioner also enjoined them to ensure the elimination or reduction in the incidence of defection of pilgrims.