Posted by JUSTOURS
No fewer than 300 people from Delta State will be embarking on pilgrimage to the State of Israel having been screened by the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) in collaboration with Delta State Pilgrims Welfare Board. The intending pilgrims are expected tok depart Asaba airport for Israel later this month.
The screening exercise, meanwhile, was conducted on Wednesday, November 25 and Thursday November 26, 2020 at the Redeemed Christian Church of God ( RCCG) Province 3 in Asaba.
According to NCPC, the exercise commenced with praise and worship as well as words of exaltation. Later, the intending pilgrims had to undergo medical examinations while their international passports were verified by Immigration officers. Interviews were also conducted by representatives of the NCPC from Abuja.
The Executive Secretary of NCPC, Rev. Dr. Yakubu Pam, advised the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Delta State and Nigeria while in the Holy Land. He advised them to pray for Delta State Governor Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who despite the harsh economic situation worsened by the COVID-19 approved state sponsorship of the entire 300 pilgrims.
Pam explained that the holy pilgrimage is a spiritual exercise when a pilgrim is expected to seek the face of God for both personal, family, state and the nation’s blessings. For him, love among pilgrims is very important; it is also a period to interact and establish enduring friendship with other pilgrims from around the world.
“I am sure to a reasonable extent that all the screened pilgrims are people who love Nigeria and have this nation at heart.
“People who will come back and be stakeholders in the affairs of this country, people who will contribute meaningfully to their local Churches.
“I urge Delta pilgrims to pray very well for the state and their caring Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, and to also pray for Nigerians, those in authority and this nation,” Pam said.
Chairman of Delta State Pilgrim Welfare Board, Bishop Cyril Odutemu said the holy pilgrimage is very significant in the life of every Christian as emphasised in the scripture.
He thanked the state governor for his contribution towards the welfare of pilgrims and Church projects. He pray God to grant Okowa uncommon wisdom, good health, prosperity, and longevity to finish strong in 2023. Also speaking at the event, a member of the pilgrim board and Catholic Priest, Very Rev Fr. Dr. Chris Ekabo spoke abscondnent, pointing that those that absconded while in Israel in 2019 were private pilgrims. ” They were not sponsored by the state government,” he noted.
According to him, the Board ensured that the 300 pilgrims for this year’s holy pilgrimage were sponsored solely by Delta State government under strict conditions met by the pilgrims, their guarantors and sponsors.
“We ensured that intending pilgrims are those well known to their pastors and local Church councils and/or authorities. They were selected and screened after meeting stringent conditions that will compel each and everyone of them to return home. No private sponsored pilgrim this year,” he also explained.
He added that “Special thanks to our performing Governor and promise keeper, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, for his good heart and for proving the chartered commercial flight that will airlift pilgrims on a direct flight from Asaba International Airport to the Holy land of Israel, and back home.”
“It is our fervent prayers that God will continue to enlarge Gov Okowa’s coast, bless him and his family, the state and Deltans in general.”
The Executive Assistant to the Governor of Delta State on Communications, Dr. (Barrister) Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe was also screened and cleared by NCPC for the holy pilgrimage. He is expected to partake in all spiritual exercise while in Israel, report on the activities of the state pilgrims in the Holy Land.
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