Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has urged intending pilgrims to imbibe the spiritual benefits of the Hajj to foster peace and religious tolerance in the country.
He also urged intending pilgrims from the State to this year’s Hajj exercise to be good ambassadors of the state, assuring them of adequate welfare package.
The governor who spoke at a seminar for intending Muslim pilgrims from Lagos State at the LTV Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Lagos, said that Hajj was the fifth pillar of Islam and the exercise should be handled with all the seriousness that it required.
“Lagos State has 3, 047 intending pilgrims out of the 66, 000 from the whole of Nigeria, which is the highest in the whole of Southern Nigeria to go to the Holy Land in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 2015 Hajj exercise.
“I urge you to take advantage of the spiritual benefits of Hajj to imbibe the exalted qualities of the Holy Prophet Mohammed.
“Our state is in dire need of men and women who have the fear of God, demonstrate religious tolerance, selflessness, who are peaceful and charitable, for the growth and development of our state and nation in general.
“I hope that this Hajj will equip you with the capacity to coexist peacefully with people of other faith, religion and ideology.
He urged the intending pilgrims to take advantage of the various lectures and orientation programmes put together for the spiritual development of all intending pilgrims, adding that they should be mindful of the image of the state and country during their interactions with fellow pilgrims and others in the holy land.
He said he approved several welfare packages to ensure that the safety and security of all pilgrims from the state are safeguarded and not endangered.
“The state government will provide necessary welfare package – medical, spiritual and other support, as well as ensure that your safety and security is guarded and not endangered,” he said.
Earlier in his lecture, Guest Lecturer, Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf, who spoke on the theme entitled “Socio-Economic and Ambassadorial Implications of Hajj”, Dr Tajudeen Yusuf explained that Hajj was a global spiritual exercise and act of worship for total human reflection.
“If you successfully observe Hajj, you have won yourself a seat in paradise. It calls for sober reflection, patience, tolerance and endurance, as well as to appreciate God and humanity,” he said.
In his remarks, AbdulLateef AbdulHakeem, the Amirul Hajj and Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee on 2015 Hajj, said that the seminar was aimed at developing the right attitude and character worthy of ambassadors of Lagos State in the holy land.
“I urge you to pray for our country, our people, our leaders, but most especially, to pray for us all that God would restore those values
with which He created us,” he said.