The over 300 Christian Pilgrims airlifted to the Kingdom of Jordan and Israel by the Lagos State Government for the pilgrimage exercise arrived in Lagos safely in the early hours of Tuesday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
The arrival of the pilgrims officially ends the pilgrimage exercise for the first batch of Easter Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land of Jordan and Israel who left Lagos penultimate Saturday, 30th September, 2023.
Speaking at the Arrival Wing of the Airport in Ikeja, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Lagos State Chapter and leader of the pilgrims to the Holy Land, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, appreciated Governor Sanwo-Olu for demonstrating true leadership that made the journey possible.
He also thanked the Governor for the interest shown in the safety of the pilgrims since the Israeli-Palestinian conflict started some days ago where several persons have died.
The CAN Chairman said that the safe completion of the pilgrimage activities in Israel despite the unrest in some parts of the country, exemplifies God’s special love for the pilgrims, Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.
On his part, the Vice Chairman of Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Professor Rufus Adeyeye Oguntuase, who also alluded to Governor Sanwo-Olu’s concern over the safety of the pilgrims, said that the suspension of the airlifting of the second batch of pilgrims by the State Government was a demonstration of the premium which the present administration places on the safety of its citizens.
He expressed confidence that the prayers offered for the leadership of Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole at the Holy Land are already answered and will begin to manifest in the lives of the Executives, Legislators, Judiciary, and others in positions of authority in Nigeria.
The Board Secretary, Mrs. Florence Gbafe, was elated that all the pilgrims who took part in the pilgrimage journey returned to Nigeria without any record of casualty or abscondment.
It should be noted that following the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Holy Land, the second batch of Christian Pilgrims to Jordan and Israel earlier scheduled for airlifting today, Tuesday 10th October, 2023, has been put on hold, pending when a new date would be made public.