NCPC making pilgrimage more spiritual ― Kwaghe
The Director in Charge of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Mrs Esther Kwaghe has said the commission has been making effort to modify pilgrimage by making it more spiritual and developmental.
She disclosed this in Gombe during her sensitisation visit to the deputy governor of Gombe state, Dr Manasseh Daniel Jatau, in his office in Gombe.
She explained that part of the new developments, the Commission wants to introduce in Christian Pilgrimage would include technological and skill acquisitions as well as agricultural expositions.
The NCPC boss intimated her host that Gombe state had continued to be one of our key players in pilgrimage development over the years.
She commended the government of Gombe state for their consistency in the sponsorship of Christians to the Holy Land.
She, therefore, solicited for more sponsorship of Christians to the Holy Land, adding that she had already tasked stakeholders in the state to ensure they complement the good effort of the government.
Mrs kwaghe further informed the deputy governor that the 2019 general pilgrimage was around the corner and that the two major religions in Nigeria – Christianity and Islam know the importance of pilgrimage.
She explained that pilgrimage to Israel helps Christians to renew their faith and at the same time makes the Bible alive.
The Director in Charge further informed the deputy governor of Gombe state that the state contingent to Israel had never recorded any single case of abscondment which she attributed to the home-grown discipline instilled by the government.
The NCPC boss further commended the government of Gombe state for the infrastructural development initiated in the state within a short period of time.
Speaking at the event, the deputy governor of Gombe state, Dr Mannasseh Daniel Jatau, affirmed that the government of Gombe state believes in Pilgrimage for both Christians and Muslims. He stressed that the society has become morally bankrupt and that moral decadence has increased at an alarming rate.
He, therefore, posited that pilgrimage has a great role to play in concretising the minds of Christians through prayer in the Holy Land. According to him: “We need pilgrimage now more than ever; we need to go back to God,” he said.
Dr Daniel Jatau promised that the Gombe state government would continue to support and sponsor Christians to the Holy Land despite the dwindling resources of the state.
In a related development, the NCPC sensitisation team also met with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), officials of the State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board and Stakeholders in the Christian Pilgrimage project at CAN secretariat in Gombe.
Speaking at the interactive session, the Director in Charge of NCPC, Mrs Kwaghe commended the unity that is exiting among the Christian community in Gombe state, urging them to keep it up.
She further informed them that the NCPC team was in the state to talk pilgrimage, adding that it is high time Christians in Gombe state woke up from their slumber.
She said: “NCPC Abuja has come to encourage you to be on your feet.”
She stressed that the time has come for the Church to take pilgrimage seriously and take ownership of the process. She affirmed that Churches have the capacity to sponsor Christians on Holy Pilgrimage.
Kwaghe further charged Christians to strive and embark on Holy pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime because of the spiritual benefits.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of Gombe State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr Joseph Bega stated that the essence of the interactive session was to chart a new course on how to move pilgrimage forward in the state.
He explained that the meeting with stakeholders would help them rob minds on how to increase the sponsorship of pilgrimage in the state without depending totally on the state government for sponsorship.
The NCPC sensitisation team that visited Gombe state included the Federal Commissioner representing North East on the Board of NCPC, Dr Musa Gelengu; the Head, Mobilisation Department of NCPC, Mr Chris Udegbunem as well as the Head, Media, NCPC, Mr Celestine Toruka, among others.