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Christian Pilgrimage, A Holy Journey, not a jamboree – Jonathan

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Christian Pilgrimage, A Holy Journey, not a jamboree – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has described the Nigeria’s Christian Pilgrimage operation to Israel as a holy journey embarked upon in faith and not on adventure of trade or jamboree exercise

The president described this recently through the Senate President, Senator David Mark who represented him at the flag off ceremony of the October/December Christian Pilgrimage Exercise 2013.

The President said the exercise offers opportunity for sober reflection and spiritual rejuvenations, urging Pilgrims to devote time to pray for Nigeria’s peace and security, so that the country can overcome her challenges.

According to Senator David Mark, ‘’ all are called to journey to the holy land, not for jamboree or business but it offers us opportunity for sober reflection, and President Jonathan’s participation in this year’s exercise is to strengthen his faith, so as to lead the people much better when he returns back to the country’’.

The President also commended the efforts of the current leadership of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), lead by John Kennedy Opara for expanding the scope of pilgrimage operations to Rome and Greece and for creating six functional zonal offices across the country.

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Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. John Kennedy Opara stated that the Pilgrimage is a biblical injunction that all nations including Nigeria shall come to Jerusalem and be blessed, Zachariah 8:22. He explained that the command was determined more than ever before to make pilgrimage a thing of pride. He urged Christians to take ownership of pilgrimage.

The NCPC boss affirmed that the President would be the no. 1 pilgrim for this year’s pilgrimage, being the first sitting Christian President in Nigeria to embark on a holy pilgrimage. He added that while in Israel the President would be expected to sign Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with the State of Israel.

He assumed that the Ground Handlers in Israel, Rome and Greece were ready to receive the Nigerian Pilgrims.

He further averred that pilgrimage is a spiritual journey, and not a jamboree. He advised pilgrims to be of good conduct while in the holy land. His words, ‘’ I urge you to be good ambassadors of Nigeria, you are the Nigeria the outside world sees, do not disappoint us’’.

Mr. Opara further stressed that the Commission would continue to make pilgrimage a tool for moral and spiritual transformation.

In his remarks, the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Uriel Palti commended Mr. Opara for transforming Christian Pilgrimage in Nigeria, especially for being able to increase the number of pilgrims that performed Holy pilgrimage annually from 4,000 to 30,000.

Many dignitaries witnessed the flag off ceremony which include the Hon. Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, Chaplain to the President, Venerable Obioma Onwuzurumba, Inter-alia.

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Monday, 17 June 2019

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