The Lagos State government seems to be overlooking the huge impact of religious tourism to the state’s economy.
Considering the high in-flow of religious tourists to the state based on the pedigree of the churches like the Synagogue, Redeem, Winners among others churches that attract high number of worshippers from across the globe in their monthly, and quarterly programmes in Lagos.
With the current prosecution of the general overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nation, Prophet T.B Joshua, activities at the church has been reduced to the lowest ebb in recent time.
Against this development, the operators of tourism enterprises in Ikotun, a Lagos suburb have sent a Save-Our-Soul appeal to the Federal and Lagos State government over the current plight of the Synagogue Church of All Nations and its leader, Prophet T.B. Joshua. According to them, as a result of the impasse, they and their dependents are facing serious hardship. They said they are finding it difficult feeding and taking care of their families. Among those that spoke were members of the hotel owners, cab drivers, food vendors, hair stylists, commercial motorcycle operators and others.
One of the hotel owners in Ikotun, Chief Jerry Omorodion, who spoke on the issue, said it was unfortunate the situation has degenerated. He said: “There was an accident and many lives were lost. This is unfortunate. The state government is doing the right thing by setting up a commission of enquiry to look into the cost of the unfortunate disaster. No responsible government would see such a thing happen and fold its arms without finding the cost and proffering solution on how to avoid such in future.
“Our discomfort, however, is that the issue is not being treated as accident in a tourist destination that welcomes thousands, if not millions of tourists, both local and international, annually. It is important that the state government should be mindful of the role the church plays in the spiritual lives of people. Millions of people flock here for solution to their physical ailments and spiritual craving. The state government, I am sure, are aware of the role the church plays in the life of the people of Ikotun. We depend on these pilgrims and religious tourist visitors for our livelihood.
“We saw what happened in Saudi Arabia where close to 2,000 persons lost their lives. There have been tragedies in tourist destinations like Kenya and Paris. But they moved forward. The government should do its job but the destination and what brings people to there should not be made victims and they should remember that we and our family members are facing difficult times. We have no other means of livelihood outside the ancillary services for offer to pilgrims visiting Ikotun.”


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