The Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Abuja, has commended Kwara Christian pilgrims for being good ambassadors of the state over the years.
The Director of Administration Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Pastor Stephen Adewara, gave this commendation in Ilorin, when he led other stakeholders to screen intending Christian pilgrims from Kwara state.
While addressing intending pilgrims at the premises of the Kwara State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board (KWCPWB), Pastor Adewara, urged them to be good ambassadors of Christ, so that they will continue to positively portray the good image of the state and the nation at large.
He said: “There are three types of people going into Israel every day. We have those going for sightseeing and there are so many things to see there so this set of people will be occupied. We have those going to buy and sell, also there are so many things to buy over there including fake things so this set of people will not be disappointed. The third set are those on pilgrimage; don’t deviate from the reason why you are there so that you can receive the full blessings.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Board, Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, (KWCPWB), Reverend (Prof) Timothy Opoola, disclosed that the essence of the screening was to be sure that the people going on pilgrimage are truly Christians and good ambassadors of the state and the nation as a whole.
“As you can see there are many layers of the screening, so we can double check and be sure. We also have the medical team to ensure the pilgrims are in good health during the exercise,” he said.
The Board chairman charged the intending pilgrims to follow every instruction, always stay together and report any health issue or any other challenge to the appropriate authorities promptly.
Shedding more light on the exercise, the Executive Secretary of the agency, Mr. Ajayi Samuel Bayo, described the screening exercise as the flag-off of the operation itself.
“It is after this exercise that we can ascertain the number of people going for the pilgrimage. Here they will go through medical screening to know those who are fit to travel. Of course, pregnant women are not allowed to travel and that’s the major issue.
Other health issues can be remedied and that is why the medical team from the Ministry of Health are here to carry out the necessary tests, so we know what to do in case of anything in the Holy Land.”
On his part, the Secretary of the state Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Dr. Reuben Ibitoye, who representee the Association at the screening, commended the intending pilgrims for conducting themselves as true children of God.
“You don’t expect less than this in a gathering of children of God. There’s no rancour, you can see the atmosphere is convivial and the love of God is present. So far we haven’t gotten any hipcup and we don’t expect any by the grace of God,” he said.
An intending pilgrim, Lady Princess Mrs. Adetiba Funmi Oluwakemi described the screening process as “flawless and very necessary.”
In her words, “This is impressive and despite the many tables where you would be attended to, it is not rigorous. This is actually very necessary so that only those worthy would be on the team. This way we would not have the issue of people absconding or doing other shameful things over there.”
The representatives of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), security agencies like the Immigration, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, State Security Services and others were on ground to ensure a smooth screening process.
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ROYAL NEWS eCopy March 28, 2022
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