Mrs. Esther Kwaghe, the Acting Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), has charged pilgrims to protect, monitor and report fellow pilgrims with intention to abscond.
Kwaghe gave the charge at the seventh transportation of the 2019 general Christian pilgrimage to Israel and Rome.
She said pilgrims must be security to one another to help catch those with the intention of absconding, adding that this was another method to help identify pilgrims who had the potential to abscond.
Kwaghe described pilgrimage as a spiritual journey that transforms life and urged the intending pilgrims to thank God for considering them worthy to re-examine their lives.
She said the commission had put in place all necessary arrangements for a hitch free pilgrimage for the year and would continue to strive to ensure no one absconded.
Kwaghe urged the intending pilgrims to resist the temptation of absconding during the pilgrimage and to be good ambassadors of Nigeria and their families.
“It is an opportunity for you to increase your faith and it will be an opportunity to fellowship with other Christians,’’ she said.
She congratulated the intending pilgrims from Lagos State for their bold initiative to embark on holy pilgrimage to strengthen their faith in the Lord.
President Buhari lauds Chadian military over counter insurgency campaign
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the Chadian Forces over their contributions to the counter insurgency campaign in the Lake Chad basin.
Newsmen reports that Chad is part of the regional force fighting Boko Haram insurgents under the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
Other participating countries are Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Benin.
President Buhari lauded the Chadians when he paid an operational visit to the Headquarters of the Sector 3 Nigerian Army Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) in Monguno, a border town in Borno.
Represented by Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), the Minister of Defence, the President described the troops as heroes who sacrificed their lives in the defence of the nation’s territorial integrity and the people.
The President said that the purpose of the visit was to check the welfare of the soldiers, hold discussion with their colleagues from Chad and see how the Nigerian government can improve on their operations.
“The officers have told us your problems and everything that is needed for you to improve on the conduct of this operation.
“So, our prayer is that you continue with the good work that you have been doing and ensure that all what you are doing will not be left unattended.
“We will do our best to ensure your welfare are well taken care of.
“By the grace of God, we shall do our best to ensure you win this war. All of you will go back to your family and continue with your normal life.
“The government and the people of Nigeria will never forget our heroes who have done us proud, but lost their lives.
“We are also aware of the sacrifices that you are making and I hope you continue,” he said.
Buhari also commended the troops for their bravery and gallantry in the successful execution of the war against the insurgents as well as peace restoration process.
The service chiefs, including the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai and other military top brass were at the meeting.
Gridlock: LASG cautions operators of event, religious centres over traffic gridlock
The Lagos State Government has cautioned operators of event centres, property owners, religious centres and other places of attraction to desist from compounding traffic gridlock on roads around their locations.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, read the riot act to owners of event centres and places of attraction to desist from activities that could obstruct free flow of traffic.
The commissioner specifically cited the Lekki-Expressway where several man-hours were lost on Saturday due to traffic gridlock and apologised to residents for the road blockage occasioned by activities of the event centres.
“Henceforth, any social event where the number of expected visitors exceeds 50, organizers of such event must notify the General Manager of LASTMA in advance, especially, if it is perceived that their property would not accommodate large numbers of vehicles that may be brought by their guests.
“The LASTMA authority will be on hand to advise them on what to do rather than allowing their visitors to block roads as this will attract stiffer penalties if caught.
“The state government will no longer condone parking of vehicles on the roadside, failure of the operators/ property owners to make provision for adequate parking space for their guests,” Oladeinde said.
He said that the gridlock was caused by motorists who could not secure parking space in the venues of their social gathering and resorted to parking their vehicles on the roadsides, causing permanent traffic gridlocks.
The commissioner stated that it was regrettable that innocent citizens who were going about their lawful duties were forced to share in the pains caused by merrymakers.
Oladeinde warned that any commercial event centre, place of worship, night club/lounge, or private property owners caught on account of illegal blockage of roads by their attendants would be closed until their owners paid the stipulated fines.
He said vehicles towed for infraction or unlawful parking offences will not be released until the corresponding amount is paid.
According to him, there are so many event centres and places of worship on Lekki expressway operating without adequate parking spaces for their visitors.
He added that most traffic gridlocks being experienced in that axis were caused by people parking vehicles on the road.
Oladeinde warned that the state government would no longer tolerate “this act of indiscipline from any quarters.
‘’Many of these event centres and churches do not have enough spaces for their visitors especially on Lekki/ Epe expressway, most often, public roads are used for their parking.
He charged the event centres owners to operate within the ambit of the law.
According to him, relevant sections of the state traffic laws that guide the operation of event centres in the state as regard parking of vehicles is still in place.
Oladeinde warned that the state government would not hesitate to apply the law on any erring event centre or private property owner whose attendants block the road on account of inadequate parking space.
“Efforts are now being made to address these critical traffic scenarios and we will ensure that what happened on Lekki Corridor on December 14, 2019 is never repeated.
“Let me, therefore, warn all event centres managers once again that they are now under obligation to notify the LASTMA Authority of their scheduled events/plans so that LASTMA can as well plan for efficient traffic flow in the area, failure to abide by this regulations, will attract stiff penalty.”
The commissioner added that the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was poised to tackle the menace of traffic gridlocks.
He urged the residents to continue to support the 6-pillar development agenda of the state government for a traffic free flow and more prosperous Smart City Lagos.