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The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Tor Uja has said that Christian pilgrimage is an opportunity given to us by God. He made the disclosure at the Daughters of Abraham Retreat and Conference Centre, (DRACC), Lugbe, Abuja during the orientation and flag off ceremony for intending pilgrims of the 2016 pilgrimage completion exercise to Israel.

He stated that Nigeria as a nation has invested massively over the years in pilgrimage and as such it would not be right that people still go on pilgrimage and come back with such an inglorious silence. According to him: “somebody should be speaking for the Lord”.

Rev. Uja affirmed that “Nigeria is the only nation that is playing, planning, putting the structures and organizing pilgrimage, we must pay our nation back by making it to conform to the scriptures”. He stated: “we are a blessed people, God has blessed us as a people thus we should enjoy the blessings of God and should not join the people to complain”.

He told the intending pilgrims that a true Nigeria should be too proud to live outside this country. Thus, he admonished them to rebuke any potential abscondees and report them to the officials.

He charged them to believe in Christ and believe in Nigeria was the only country that stood against gay marriages, against divorce and is still standing forth for Christ.

Rev. Uja hinted that since his assumption of duty as the Executive Secretary the Commission has been able to save enough through cut saving measures.

He advised the intending pilgrims to learn how to be contented. He said: “I want us to stand up to the honour of our Christ and glory of our nation”.

He further advised: “churches should not divide us, they only strengthen us. As you go on pilgrimage, soft pedal on your state, your tribe, and Church, but emphasize on Nigeria”.

The NCPC boss informed the intending pilgrims that starting from this year, the Commission would no longer hold orientation programmes outside the Airports.

He also hinted that the Commission would ensure that the prayer and study life of every pilgrim on pilgrimage is enhanced and developed.

He admonished the intending pilgrims to pray for the resurgence and revival of Nigeria. According to him”, on our journey to Israel, let God reshape your life”.

He equally urged all intending pilgrims on pilgrimage to ensure that they participate in all devotional programmes of the Commission during pilgrimage.

He further hinted that henceforth each batch of pilgrims would be exposed to at least one day corporate prayer session.

The NCPC boss also revealed that from May this year, every pilgrim should be able to have at least one Nigerian meal during pilgrimage. he advised them to be patient with the food as it is now. His words: “I will like you to be patient with our food”.

The NCPC helmsman further admonished the intending pilgrims: “you are going to a foreign nation, you should not be involved in politics of that nation”. He further cautioned, “please avoid comment on the internal politics of Israel”.

He urged them to always ensure they go in groups so that no pilgrim would be found missing.

The 2016 pilgrimage completion programme is made up of pilgrims from plateau, Kastina, Kogi, Kaduna, Osun, Niger and Rivers. They are about 307 intending pilgrims in the first batch.

According to the NCPC boss, Rev. Tor Uja while flagging off the pilgrimage programme stated that there would be three flights on the whole and there would be airlift of intending pilgrims from Abuja on 20th February and 2nd march while on 12th March the last batch of the airlift would take place from Port Harcourt International Airport because of the planned closure of the Nnamdi  Azikiwe International  Airport, Abuja.

He intimated that about 1000 intending pilgrims would be participating in 2016 pilgrimage completion exercise.

 He explained that the 2016 pilgrimage completion exercise was a spillover of intending pilgrims from the 2016 main pilgrimage who could not make it to Israel during the October/December pilgrimage for obvious reasons.

He hinted that there were still some quite numbers of intending pilgrims who could still not make it with this set, but would be accommodated in the Easter pilgrimage in April this year.

Various speakers were given the opportunity to address the intending pilgrims, especially some of the state Chairmen and Secretaries whose pilgrims were being airlifted.

Also the Chairman of NCPC Security Committee, Major General Emmanuel Nienge (RTD) advised the intending pilgrims on some security tips and how to conduct themselves in the Holy Land to avoid embarrassment.

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Wednesday, 08 July 2020

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