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PILGRIMAGE: A SPIRITUAL EDIFICATION NOT A JAMBOREE – GOVERNOR ABDULFATAH OF KWARA STATE

The Executive Governor of Kwara State, His Excellency, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has said that

The Executive Governor of Kwara State, His Excellency, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has said that pilgrimage is a tool for spiritual edification and not a jamboree. He made this assertion when the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Mr. John Kennedy Opara and his Federal Commissioners paid him a sensitization visit at the government house in Ilorin, Kwara State Capital.

Governor Abdulfatah stressed that the sole aim of Government’s involvement in pilgrimage is to meet the spiritual needs of the pilgrims so that they can in turn use the lessons and gains acquired during their pilgrimage exercise to make Nigeria a better place.

He averred that Nigeria is a country both for the Moslems and Christians and urged Nigerians to put behind them their sentiments and personal gains. According to him, “God has created different religions for varieties and to make the World a better place.” He urged them to live in love and be their brother’s keeper.

The Governor encouraged Nigerians not to give up despite the challenges the country is facing “though we are still fighting our challenges, let us keep our hopes high, because I know that things will get better.” He further encouraged the people of Kwara State and Nigerians as a whole to continually do the right thing in order to make Nigeria a better place.

He commended Mr. Opara for the way and manner in which he has piloted the affairs of NCPC, in his words, “your amiable personality and your commitment to drive the Commission and Nigeria to a level where we want it to attain is highly commendable.” He prayed that God will continually strengthen him and give him the grace to contribute his quota in building the nation.   

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Mr. John Kennedy Opara, told the Governor that the essence of his visit was to appreciate the Governor and the good people of Kwara state for their support to Christian pilgrimage over the years and to sensitize Christians on the 2014 pilgrimage exercise.

He commended him for his laudable programmes mostly in the areas of education, in his words “you have improved the standard of the primary and secondary education in the state.” He added that this would go a long way to secure the future of the state.

The NCPC helmsman also told the Governor that the Commission runs three pilgrimage packages in a year: The Easter Pilgrimage which is usually in March-April, the Family Pilgrimage which runs through July-August and the main pilgrimage exercise in October-December.

He used the opportunity presented by the sensitization visit to inform his Host that the Commission would flag off its Family pilgrimage on the 26th of July 2014, explaining further that the family pilgrimage is to afford families the opportunity to pray together, in his words “a family that prays together stays together”.  

The NCPC boss told his host that the Commission was using pilgrimage as tool for moral and spiritual transformation. He posited that if people were transformed, they would affect their society positively and would help the country to move forward.  He then urged the Governor to help sponsor Christians who cannot afford to pay for themselves to the Holy Land, because according to him, “pilgrimage should be for those who are spiritually rich, but materially poor.”

 Mr. Opara intimated the Governor that a concessionary exchange rate of $1 dollar to N150 naira has been approved by Mr. President for this year’s pilgrimage exercise.

The No 1 Pilgrim Officer of the Federation further intimated the Governor that he has allocated 500 seats for this year’s pilgrimage exercise.

Media Unit, NCPC.

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Friday, 23 August 2019

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