BY TOYIN ADEBAYO, Abuja
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), John Kennedy Opara, yesterday said that President Goodluck Jonathan is going on this year’s pilgrimage on a spiritual journey to intercede for Nigerians.
Opara added that the President would also sign a Bilateral Air Service Arrangement (BASA) on behalf of Nigeria and the State of Israel.
Opara made this known at a press briefing on the commission’s preparedness to airlift 30,000 Nigerian pilgrims to the State of Israel in Abuja.
The NCPC boss added that BASA will help to bring down the cost of Holy pilgrimage by helping to reduce flying time between Nigerian and the State of Israel to six hours.
He said “when leaders remember God, God will remember them. This is why President Jonathan is embarking on spiritual journey to Israel to seek the face of God which brings about divine transformation in Nigeria.”
Opara added that NCPC is working hand in hand with the Israeli and Egyptian authorities to ensure maximum security on the Holy sites for Nigerians pilgrimage.
This year’s pilgrimage will run from October 19 to 26 with President Jonathan leading the team. “This year’s pilgrimage will see a lot of personalities who will be on the entourage of Mr. President.”
He stated that each batch will take 2,000 pilgrims.
While responding on self-sponsorship, he said there is a level of improvement due to the commission’s enlightenment programme to churches and individuals.
He stressed that the just concluded family pilgrimage are all self-sponsored and people have been coming to ask when will the next batch take off because of the testimonies they heard from the pioneers.
He however promised pilgrims that the commission will do all it can to ensure they have maximum comfort, while adding that they should trust God in prayers.