Lagos govt to airlift 1,862 pilgrims for 2024 Hajj

The Lagos State Government disclosed on Wednesday that a total of 1,862 people will be airlifted for the 2024 Hajj, noting that Israel is currently safe for pilgrimage.

The State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ibrahim Layode, made this known during the 2024 Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the first year of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second term in office, which took place in Alausa, Ikeja, recalling that a total number of 3,655 Muslim pilgrims went to Hajj in 2023.

The commissioner, however, made it clear that those going on holy pilgrimages to Mecca were self-sponsored.

Layode, while giving a reason why just 310 pilgrims could only make it to the Holy Land during the Christian pilgrimage, said it was during this period that the Israel-Hamas war broke out, which made it impossible for the second batch of Christian pilgrims “to make the trip.”

“While in the Holy Land during the Christian pilgrimage, the Israel-Hamas war broke out, thus the second batch of the Christian pilgrims were not able to make the trip. To the glory of God, the whole 310 pilgrims returned home safe and sound,” he said.

Reeling out the achievements of his ministry in the year under review, Layode said that during the Easter and Ramadan periods, the Lagos State Government organised Combined Special Prayers for Nigeria and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on March 29, 2024.

The commissioner said the event was attended by Governor Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, past deputy governors, serving legislators at the National Assembly, members of the State Executive Council, religious leaders, and other top government functionaries, among others.

He pointed out that the 2024 Ramadan Tafsir, which marked the 25th anniversary of the Lagos State Ramadan Tafsir, was equally celebrated with all past commissioners and permanent secretaries.

The commissioner noted that during the period of the Ramadan fast, over 50,000 food packs and drinks were distributed to public servants in all MDAs across the state to break their fast.

Speaking further, Layode said that during the Lent/Easter celebration, a spiritual event when Christians fast, pray, and engage in acts of self-discipline and purification, the ministry facilitated the distribution of gift items and over 50,000 food packs as a means of showing kindness to the teeming fasting Christians across MDAs in the state.

The commissioner commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for also extending the gesture of distributing gift items to religious leaders in the state to celebrate the Easter festival.

On International Tolerance Day, which is celebrated annually on November 16 as declared by the United Nations, he said that due to the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos, the state adopted the day to promote religious tolerance and develop the accommodative mindset of individuals.

He said that to commemorate the day, religious leaders, scholars, and professionals alike were invited to discuss chosen topical issues that border on tolerance, pointing out that the list of participants cuts across students, youth, and religious organisations, among others.



Tribune Online