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PILGRIMAGE SHOULD SERVE AS A TOOL FOR MORAL AND SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION – NCPC BOSS

 The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, NCPC, Mr. John

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, NCPC, Mr. John Kennedy Opara, has said that the Commission would continue to use pilgrimage as a tool for moral and spiritual transformation.  He disclosed this on 7th July, 2014 during a sensitization visit to the Governor of Kebbi State, His Excellency Alhaji Saidu Usman Dakingari at Government House, Birnin  Kebbi.

          Mr. Opara posited that if pilgrims who embarked on holy pilgrimage had divine encounter in Israel they would help in preaching peace and equally help the Government of the day to drive the transformation process.  According to him, “transformation can only be driven by men and women who are morally and spiritually sound”.

          The NCPC helmsman also briefed his host that the Commission now runs three pilgrimage programmes namely: the Easter Pilgrimage usually held between March and April, Family Pilgrimage usually held from July to August, and of course the main pilgrimage usually runs from October to December every year.

          He hinted that President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, had graciously approved the concessionary exchange rate of $1 to 150 naira for both Christians and Moslems for this year’s pilgrimage exercise.  He maintained that from 2012 to date there had been about 9 percent reduction in the cost of pilgrimage package; he announced that the cost of this year’s pilgrimage would be 364,000.

          He appreciated the Governor for the visible developmental strides of his administration, especially the recently completed Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport, Birnin Kebbi, which he described as one of the best Airports in Nigeria” He further described His Excellency “as a transformer and a leader with great vision”.

          In his response, Governor Saidu Usman Dankigari pointed out that his administration had excelled in so many areas, especially in the unity of the communities in Kebbi State, which had made the work of governance very easy.  According to him, “we don’t talk about security any more we are concerned with investments and infrastructural development”.

          He further averred that the security situation in the country would be improved “as long as we can begin to ask probing questions.  He further added, with unity of purpose our security will improve”.

          Governor Dankigari further thanked the NCPC boss for finding time to visit him with his entourage.  He stressed that such visits and interactions were necessary in order to appreciate and value the strength of others.

          He canvassed the need to bring back the good life and good values Nigerians were known for.  He promised to continually support Christian Pilgrimage in the state.

          In another development, the Executive Secretary also had stakeholders meeting with Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN) at the Presidential Lodge, Birnin Kebbi.

          He appealed to them to be patient with the government and not to allow themselves to be used as political tools to settle scores.

 He thanked them for their sincere prayers for the country while calling on them not to depend on government sponsorship of pilgrimage. He encouraged them to always strive to sponsor Christians who are not materially rich to Israel.

Mr. Opara maintained that the Churches have major roles to play in the self sponsorship of pilgrims as pilgrimage cannot succeed without CAN.

The Executive Secretary was accompanied on the sensitization visit to Kebbi State by Mrs. Helen Uneku Ughoro, NCPC Federal Commissioner, North Central, Elder Major (Rtd) Dogara Akut, NCPC Federal commissioner, North West, Dr. Joseph Ahmedu, NCPC Ex officio Member and Mr. Peter Okhueleigbe, NCPC Head of Finance and Accounts.

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Friday, 23 August 2019

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