The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has reiterated his administration’s commitment to the peaceful co-existence of Muslims and Christians in the State.
He stated this during the official commissioning and hand-over ceremony of the newly completed ‘Shamsi Adisa Thomas Memorial Mosque’, Old Secretariat, Ikeja.
The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdulhakkem Abdullateef, emphasized that it was in fulfillment of this commitment that he had, at the inception of his administration, approved the rehabilitation of both the Secretariat Community Central Mosque and the Chapel of Christ the Light Church in order to make them more conducive for worshippers.
While encouraging the adherents of both religions to continue to tolerate one another, he promised not to relent in ensuring that there is religious harmony in the State.
Ambode appealed to well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies to support the management of the mosque in ensuring that the edifice is properly maintained, stressing that maintaining such a gigantic project requires collective efforts.
Speaking earlier, the Chairperson of the Shamsi Adisa Thomas Foundation, Alhaja Azeezat Thomas, thanked the Governor for promptly assisting the foundation with the sum of N33.5 million to complete the project when his assistance was sought.
She said, “Early this year, when it became apparent that spiraling prices, resulting from the unprecedented poor Naira/US Dollar exchange rate would hamper early completion of the project, the foundation approached the Governor through the Commissioner for Home Affairs, for assistance with the N33.5million to complete the project.”
“Not only did the Governor, a Christian approve the request, the money was made available in record time. That magnanimity is a demonstration of religious tolerance which all leaders must emulate”, she added.
The Chairperson, represented by Mr. Lateef Ajao, Vice Chairman of the Foundation and former Permanent Secretary, stated that the completion cost of the Mosque was N175 million, adding that the Mosque was designed to be self sufficient in generating funds for its regular maintenance and other expenditure.
The Mosque, according to the Chairperson, has among other features, committee/lecture rooms; a multipurpose hall for nikhai, lectures and symposia; four shops where Islamic materials and publications are to be sold and four chalets for spiritual retreat only.
Recall that the edifice was bequeathed to the Muslim Community by Alhaji Shamsi Adisa Thomas, a pioneer Permanent Secretary and former Secretary to the Military Government and Head of Service, Lagos State.
Similarly, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has appealed to all Nigerians to remember the families of our fallen soldiers in prayers and also contribute generously to their welfare.
Speaking at the Interdenominational Church Service to commemorate the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration at the Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, he explained that the memories of our fallen heroes will continue to linger in our hearts, especially when we remember that they sacrificed their lives to uphold the unity and protect the territorial integrity of our dear nation.
The Governor, who was represented at the occasion by the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, took the first reading of the Service from the Old Testament: 1 Samuel 7:7-14.