Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef today said the state government has commenced the process of refunding the sum of N50 million to the year 2015 hajj pilgrims for services not rendered during the exercise.
AbdulLateef said this at the ongoing ministerial press briefing in account of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s one year in office, noted that the fund was returned to the State Government by the Federal Government.
According to him, the Muslim Pilgrims Board has almost completed the refund of N16, 000 (Sixteen thousand naira) to each of the 3,047 Pilgrims who participated in the Year 2015 Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.
While soliciting support for the developmental initiatives of the present administration anchored on peaceful coexistence and religious tolerance among residents, AbdulLateef emphasized that the state government under the leadership of Governor Ambode has no plan to license religious preachers as its being alleged in some quarters.
He noted that an atmosphere of peace and tranquility is the bedrock for any sustainable societal growth and development in a cosmopolitan City like Lagos, saying that is why the state government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, is promoting peaceful, harmonious relationship among the diverse religious groups in the state.
The commissioner said government will ensure sustenance of peaceful co-existence among residents irrespective of their ethnic and religious persuasion.
Abdulateef added that the Ministry has continued to operate a multi-prong approach strategy which includes a mix of public enlightenment campaign, sensitization and advocacy programmes against hate preaching and religious intolerance, some of which are already being implemented.
“Studies have established that most religious crises are ignited by unguarded preaching of hate messages by some overzealous religious leaders. Our Ministry has therefore, adopted a very strong stand against such messages.
“Through constant advocacy, we hope to stop this unhealthy practice by appealing to the leadership of the various faiths using all related established platforms,” he said.