By Jessica Onyegbula
The Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Rev Yakubu Pam, on Monday reinstated commitments toward achieving zero abscondment during the 2020 pilgrimage to Israel and Rome.
Pam, who gave the assurance at a conference with the chairmen of Christian pilgrim boards in the states of the federation and FCT in Abuja, stressed that new steps were being taken to ensure zero absconment and a successful pilgrimage.
”We have called this meeting for us to prepare for the 2020 pilgrimage which by the special grace of God we are expecting will take place in December 2020.
”We are planning to make sure that we have the best operation this year in terms of having zero absconmemt.
”The possibility of having no absconment in this year’s pilgrimage is what we are discussing and also to have the best operation in terms of providing service to the people, both on air and on ground in Israel.
”Also to make sure we represent Nigeria as ambassadors while down in the Holyland and finally to make sure that anybody traveling to Israel for pilgrimage is not going for tourism,” he said.
Pam also said that the spiritual context would be looked into critically to ensure there was a spiritual value to what was being done, “so that when they come back home, they will be able to use their experience and serve the country”.
He also said that the commission was mindful of the COVID-19 guidelines and would follow all the guidelines to ensure the safety of Nigerians travelling for pilgrimage.
”We are mindful of COVID-19 and every practical step in accordance with the federal rules on COVID-19 is taken seriously and we are mindful of the health of Nigerians, not only on the issue of COVID-19.
”We know this pandemic has come, but we will manage it.
“It is not something that will be eradicated immediately, we will manage it until final solutions like vaccines have been found.
“If not we will continue to manage it and do our best.”
Pam, who also appealed to governors and well meaning Nigerians who God has blessed to support and sponsor Christian’s to the Holyland added that sponsoring others on a trip like this attracted more blessings.
”I have been making calls across various states appealing to various state governors and well meaning Nigerians who God has blessed to sponsor Christians.
”The blessings of sponsoring people to pilgrims is uncountable. God opens doors for those that take people to Israel with their wealth.
”There is blessings to it and I believe that any good Christian faithful will know that there’s blessings to link up with Israel and Jerusalem.
“There is always tremendous blessing,” he said.