By Florence Onuegbu
The Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr Anofiu Elegushi on Sunday said 10,000 religious organisations, both Christian and Muslim, were captured in the government’s website.
Elegushi made this known in Ikeja during the 2021 Ministerial Press Briefing to Commemorate the Second Year in Office of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
He said this was aimed at carrying them along with state government’s policies.
”The ministry is presently imputing data of every place of worship located in the state on a centralised database, to allow the state government have reliable data of churches, mosques and their locations, with a view to carrying them along with government’s policies.
”It is expected that the policy, because of effective resource allocation and efficient management inherent in it, will bring about extended benefits to many more churches and mosques in the state.
”At present, the website designed for this enumeration, has over 10,000 data of both Muslim and Christian organisations across the state,” Elegushi said.
He said religious harmony and peaceful coexistence of people belonging to the two major religions existed in the state.
”We pride ourselves in saying that what divides and creates security breach in other parts of the country is what unites us in Lagos state, bearing in mind that Lagos state has become a home to people from across Nigeria and beyond.
”I am happy to report that in the last two years, the state has enjoyed tremendous religious’ harmony and peaceful co-existence.
”This is through one of the critical functions of our ministry that is facilitating, maintaining and enhancing harmonious relations among faith-based groups and organisations in the state,” the commissioner said.
Elegushi said the feat was achieved through regular, vigorous and consistent engagements and discussions with religious leaders in the state, under the umbrella of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).
While giving account of stewardship of both the Muslim and Christian Pilgrims Welfare Boards, he said the ministry went the extra length to partner with the Ministry of Health in ensuring seamless vaccination exercise for all of its intending pilgrims.
Elegushi said as part of measures to ensure a successful pilgrimage, intending pilgrims were screened both administratively and medically, with COVID-19 vaccine administered to them.
”Over 2,500 intending pilgrims received jabs of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine between Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28 by the Christian and Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards in collaboration with the state ministry of health.
”This was in fulfillment of the requirements for gaining entry into Saudi Arabia for the performance of Hajj and Jerusalem Pilgrimages,” the commissioner said.
On the readiness for 2021 Pilgrimage exercise by intending Christian pilgrims, Elegushi said the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, led a 6-man delegation to Jordan, ahead of the proposed May 2021 pilgrimage.
He said this was to ascertain the preparedness of pilgrimage Grand Handlers and to also have a better and clearer view of historical sites in Jordan.
The commissioner said more improvements on the activities of the ministry would be implemented, while also deploying new methods of delivering excellent services to residents of the state. (NAN)