The Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Rochas Okorocha has said that Imo state will embrace Youth pilgrimage and assured he would sponsor only those youths who cannot afford to sponsor themselves. He disclosed this while receiving the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), John Kennedy Opara and his Management team who were on sensitization visit to the State.

The Governor emphasized that the state would sponsor Youths who are unemployed to embark on pilgrimage and use the opportunity to tap into the skills Acquisition programme introduced by the Commission into the pilgrimage programme.

He urged the Church leaders to promote self-sponsorship, adding that pilgrimage should be for Christians who are materially poor, but spiritually rich. 

Governor Rochas commended the Executive Secretary for the laudable programmes he has brought to bear in the Commission.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Mr. John Kennedy Opara informed his host that the Commission now runs four pilgrimage Packages in one calendar year. The Family Pilgrimage, which is designed to avail families the opportunity of praying together in the Holy Land; Easter Pilgrimage, Youths Pilgrimage and the main pilgrimage which will be flagged off on 17th October, 2015.  He further informed that the maiden Youth Pilgrimage was flagged off on 25th July, 2015 and over 1000 youths were airlifted.

He intimated the Governor that the Commission has also added the skills Acquisition component into the youth pilgrimage programme. According to him, “this will help the government in the area of employment because, the youths would be able to acquire skills that will make them self-reliant”.  

Mr. Opara stated that because of the quest for self sustenance and self sponsorship of pilgrims, the Commission is partnering with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) to commence the Christian Pilgrimage Lottery Scheme which would give many Christians the opportunity to embark on Holy Pilgrimage to Israel  by paying a token to obtain a ticket that would enable them participate in  raffle draw. He stressed that the beauty of the Christian Pilgrimage Lottery Scheme is that 20% of what is generated would be ploughed back to the National Treasury for developmental projects by the government while 50% of the amount generated would be used to sponsor the lucky winners to Israel.

The No 1 Pilgrim Officer of the Federation informed his host on the Commission’s Programme: ‘A day with Jesus in Israel’ and seized the opportunity to invite the Governor for the 2015 edition which would be held in Israel, from 23rd- 25th October. He added that the day is set aside to specifically pray for our nation.

He commended the Executive Governor for what he is doing in the state particularly in the area of Job creation. He describe him “as a man of vision, a man with foresight”, adding that “it’s only a man of vision that has foresight”.

{gallery}2015 SENSITIZATION VISIT TO IMO STATE{/gallery}