The Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdul-Hakeem Abdul-Lateef has called on the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) to allow State Boards to function according to the laws establishing them.
The Commissioner stated this on Monday while receiving the report of Year 2015 Christian Pilgrimage from the Chairman of the Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Bishop Sola Ore at his office, Secretariat, Alausa, saying that the Law establishing NCPC and the National Hajj Commission (NHC) had restricted these commissions to only Licensing, Regulating and Supervising State Pilgrim Boards and other Agencies.
Dr. Abdul-Lateef explained that it is alien to Federalism that Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, which was established by Law duly passed by the State House of Assembly and assented to by the Governor of the State, should have its domestic functions such as screening of intending Pilgrims usurped by the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission.
According to him, if NCPC adheres strictly to its statutory responsibilites and not meddle in domestic activities of State Pilgrim Boards, such will not only strengthen the the State Boards but will empower them to take far reaching decisions on the welfare and safety of their pilgrims as well as put them in a position to be responsible for decision taken.
While congratulating the leadership of the Board for a successful 2015 pilgrimage, Abdul-Lateef noted that pilgrimage generally enhances the spiritual capacity of pilgrims to put into practice their faith, as well as stimulate and reinforce their spiritual development.
The Commissioner further explained that though the State Government has put a stop to the state sponsorship of pilgrimage, it will however not relent in its support of self sponsor pilgrims because the State holds them the duty to safeguard their welfare, safety, within or outside Nigeria through appropriate provision of medical care.
He promised the Board that the Report received will be forwarded to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and all recommendations, observations will be taken into account in line with the policy thrust of the state government.