The Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board (LSCPWB) has held the second phase of its statutory administrative and medical screening programme for intending pilgrims to Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan.
Addressing the pilgrims at the Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr. Sewedo Oluseyi Whenu, stated that the screening exercise was initiated to verify the travel documents of the prospective pilgrims and check for ulterior motives.
Whenu said the orientation and screening exercise was also geared toward ensuring that prospective pilgrims are physically and psychologically fit for the pilgrimage exercise.
He noted that the orientation was to guide and acquaint the intending pilgrims with the guidelines for the holy pilgrimage, adding that the medical screening exercise was also held to check for possible ailments and advise individuals on required medications before the commencement of the journey.
Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Christian Matters, Very. Rev. Bukola Adeleke, stated that the purpose of the exercise was to educate the intending pilgrims on the significance of the holy pilgrimage, which is to pray and present their heart desires to God.
Adeleke noted that the intending pilgrims will have the opportunity to visit and touch notable sites in the bible, which will in turn solidify their faith in Christ Jesus.
He, however, enjoined the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Lagos State as well as Nigeria and use the opportunity to pray for the State and Country at large.
Similarly, the Chairman of LSCPWB, Rt. Rev Babatunde Akinpelu-Johnson stated that the screening and orientation exercise was to prepare the intending pilgrims for the spiritual journey, noting that the pilgrimage exercise is not for holidays or sightseeing.
The Chairman further reiterated that the journey will provide an opportunity for participants to experience the reality of the bible and, ultimately, aid spiritual maturity.
In her remarks, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board (LSCPWB), Mrs. Florence Yetunde Gbafe, affirmed that the exercise was convened to acquaint the intending pilgrims with the guidelines of the holy pilgrimage, stating that the screening exercise was not a guarantee that visas will be granted to all applicants.
She, however, guaranteed that those who failed to secure visas for the journey would get a refund.
Outlining plans for the journey, Gbafe pointed out that medical personnel and leaders to guide the pilgrims, while a dedication service will take place to commit the journey into God’s hands.
Earlier, one of the Board members of LSCPWB, Bishop Prof. Rufus Adeyeye Oguntuase, urged the intending pilgrims to focus on spiritually uplifting things and use the opportunity to pray for the peace of the State and Country.
The intending pilgrims expressed appreciation to the Lagos State Government for providing the platform to educate and prepare them for the holy pilgrimage.