The Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) flagged off the 2018 Easter Pilgrimage to Israel at the Pilgrims Terminal of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on 27th June.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) Rev. Uja Tor UJa admonished the intending Pilgrims to ensure they hand over their problems to God while in the Holy Land and defeat them there.
He further charged them to go Israel with the vision and power of God.
The NCPC boss further enjoined them to be true ambassadors of Nigeria while in the Holy Land, describing Nigeria as the shining light of the world.
His words, “I want you to be proud of your heritage”. He added, God has given us, and He has given us well”.
He stressed that no nation in the world can resist the force of Nigeria’s spiritual powers.
At the flag off event, the representative of the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Terver Aakase, the Special Assistant Media and ICT, stated that the fact that the intending pilgrims are alive to perform the pilgrimage exercise was a testimony of the victory of Benue State.
He told the intending pilgrims that Governor Samuel Ortom would want to sustain a good reputation of Benue State while in the Holy Land, fully knowing well that none of them will abscond in Israel.
The Governor further enjoined them to be good Ambassadors of Nigeria and the state. He assured them that the end will be better than the beginning.
In his remarks at the event, the Executive Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Alhaji Murthar Mohammed stated that the NCPC boss had strong conviction for the peaceful co-existence of this country. He affirmed that God would give him the strength to actualize it.
He advised that as a nation we should not allow the devil to distract the vision and purpose of God in our lives.
He stressed that the human life should be cherished. Consequently, he condemned the killings in the Plateau, stating that the judgement of God must be upon the perpetuators of those dastardly acts.
In the words of the Chairman, “I believe as you embark on this journey you should not come back except your prayers are answered.
He informed that on 18th July’ his Commission will commence the inaugural flight of the 2018 Hajj operations to Saudi Arabia.
Also speaking, a member of the NCPC Board, Rev. Dr. Israel Akanji, urged the intending pilgrims to go to Israel and come back with a transformed life”. He added, “let it not be a commodification journey, but a spiritual one”.
The inaugural flight of the 2018 Easter pilgrimage was wholly made of about 200 pilgrims from Benue. The pilgrimage programme would run from 27th to 29th July.
The Easter pilgrimage ought to have been held at the first quarter of this year, but was delayed due to visa challenges which was recently resolved with the Israeli authorities by the Commission.