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TMC lauds Ambode over pilgrims’ welfare, others

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Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

The Muslim Congress commends the Lagos State Government for saving over N4.5 billion from the discontinued sponsorship of pilgrims to holy lands.

The revelation by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef at the 2018 ministerial press briefing is in order.

The Amir of The Muslim Congress (TMC), Dr. Lukman AbdurRaheem said Hajj is an obligation on Muslims with the means. “Politicians have dabbled into hajj matters for diabolical reasons. They steal and divert funds under the pretext of sponsoring people on hajj. Islam ordains that Hajj is an obligation for Muslims that possess the necessary provision and also the requisite means of journey.

“Some ahadith explain the Qur’anic words “Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah – those who can afford the journey.” (Qur’an 3.97) as meaning provision of food and means of journey. Anas reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) when once asked about the meaning of “those who can afford” said: “It means possessing means of sustenance and transportation.” (Ad-Daraqutni). Government support is needed for logistics, safety, health care and enabling environment” he said.

Commissioner for Home Affairs Dr. Abdulhakeem AbdulLateef said, the saved funds have been diverted into the construction of roads and other amenities to make life easier for residents.

AbdulLateef said that the government had instead provided welfare facilities to ensure that pilgrims had a good time during their pilgrimage.

The commissioner said the government would not rest on its oars to ensure peace and progress of the state.

Speaking on religious tolerance, AbdulLateef said: “no one suffers religious discrimination in Lagos, as citizens experience the best of religious freedom, practice and fraternisation. It is only in Lagos that Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) “is functioning. I want you to know that in the atmosphere of religious crisis, development will remain a problem and per-capital can in fact fall to the lowest ebb. Lagos has not recorded any religious crisis and will remain crisis-free, as long as Ambode’s initiative on peace and religious harmony subsists, and the regular handshakes of Muslims and Christians prevail.

“There is no conflict between traditionalists and Muslims and Christians. No religious body has the right to obstruct the activities and worships of other religius adherents, just as the traditionalists should not do things that would injure or infringe on rights and dignity of people of other faiths, as well.”

He appealed to property owners to desist from converting their residential buildings to religious premises in a bid to avoid payment of the harmonised Land Use Charge.

“Do not convert your residential premises to religious premises. Many do that for the sake of being protected from paying their Land Use Charge; that we will not be tolerated. Whatever we want to do, let us keep ourselves within the ambit of the law,” AbdulLateef said.

He said government had excluded religious institutions from payment of the land use charge.

The commissioner urged residents to report religious bodies that caused noise pollution in their environs so that they could be engaged regularly by the ministry.

He urged all religious institutions to get registered with the government, as it would be at no cost to them.


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