By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Arrangements have been concluded for a successful journey of 4,000 intending pilgrims from Lagos State to the 2009 Holy pilgrimage to Saudi-Arabia, in Makkah and Medinah even as a 34-man ad-hoc committee on the Hajj was inaugurated, weekend.
The state government, however, charged intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors by avoiding acts capable of tarnishing the image of the state in particular and the country in general.
Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Alhaji Babatunde Balogun, made the remarks during a brief inauguration of the 34-member ad-hoc committee on Hajj, chaired by Alhaji Adekunle Ajanaku.
Balogun said the arrangements for pilgrims became necessary in order to make the operation a hitch-free as well as sustain the stateâ€™s excellence position in hajj operations, adding that the state was given an award by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) last year for its exceptional handling of the operation.
His words: â€œTo this exemplary service delivery that Lagos State is known for, that we place high premium on commitment, hardwork, diligence and transparency. We do not expect less from this committee.â€
Balogun said the 4,000 pilgrims that would be air-lifted for the holy journey next month, 10 medical doctors and 12 nurses would accompany the pilgrims to provide first hand medical attention for any member of the team.
Ajanaku, chairman of the committee, in his acceptance remarks, expressed appreciation of the members to the state government for the appointment and pledged their commitment to make the operation a success story once again.
â€œIt is an assignment with immense challenges, a number of which can bring dire consequences if not well managed. This is made more compelling against the backdrop of the pace-setting records of the state and her status as the centre of excellence.
The chairman appealed to NAHCON and the federal government on the need to continue to put in place measures that will make the task of the boards of state Muslim Pilgrims Agencies easy.