The Executive Governor of Bauchi State, His Excellency Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar has said that the State would not relent in the

The Executive Governor of Bauchi State, His Excellency Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar has said that the State would not relent in the sponsorship of pilgrims to the Holy Land despite the lean finances in the state. He disclosed this in his office in Bauchi while playing host to the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), John Kennedy Opara and his Federal Commissioners who were in the state for a sensitization visit.


He explained that the state would do everything humanly possible to ensure that the people of the state participate in this year's pilgrimage. According to him, "it is the responsibility of the state to continue to render its social and religious obligations to both Christians and Muslims in the state". He

affirmed that he would not abolish the sponsorship of pilgrims to the Holy Land.


He thanked the Bauchi State Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), for standing by him during his election into office, in his words, "Bauchi State CAN has remained true to the promises they made to me during election". He promised to carry them along in his government.


Earlier, the Executive Secretary of NCPC, John Kennedy Opara congratulated Governor Abubakar for victory in the last elections. He described the governor as a man of courage, honour and integrity who God has chosen to serve the people of Bauchi State and to take the state to greater heights and achievements.


He commended him for how he has been able to reduce the cost of governance in the state since his assumption of office. According to him, "the way you cut the cost of governance is quite inspiring" and urged other state Governors to emulate him.

Speaking further, the NCPC boss reaffirmed that the Commission uses pilgrimage as a tool for moral transformation and spiritual rebirth.


He informed his host about the four pilgrimage programmes the Commission runs yearly: The Easter pilgrimage, Youth Pilgrimage which was launched this year, Family pilgrimage and the main pilgrimage.


The NCPC Scribe informed that skill acquisition was included into pilgrims’ activities as a way of ensuring that the Commission creates jobs for youths.

He informed that over one thousand youths embarked on pilgrimage this year and were exposed to skill acquisition in the area of Agriculture, he said, "we want to tap into the wealth of knowledge of Israel in agriculture, so that when our youths return, they would be able to create jobs for themselves and employ others".


Mr. Opara informed that due to the lean resources of the government, the Commission is currently partnering with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), which is targeted towards encouraging those who are spiritually rich, but materially poor to go on pilgrimage with little or no cost. In his words, "we want to ensure that every Christian buys the lottery tickets, the money generated from the tickets would be used in sponsoring those who are lucky to win the raffle draw at no cost to the federal and state government".


The Executive Secretary was accompanied on the sensitization visit by Archbishop Nemuel Babba, NCPC Federal Commissioner representing North-East, Rev. Amos K. Yohanna, Head of Administration NCPC Abuja, among others.

{gallery}2015 SENSITIZATION TO BAUCHI STATE{/gallery}