THE Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) on Tuesday, received the last batch of pilgrims at the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport on Tuesday after completing the pilgrimage exercise in Israel.
Receiving the pilgrims, the Executive Secretary of NCPC Reverend Tor Uja said the last pilgrimage exercise was the best as the Commission did not record any death, casualty or abscondment of pilgrims.
He said that subsequent pilgrimage would focus more on bringing agriculture and technology ideas from Israel and other countries by the pilgrims and replicate them in Nigeria.
“All other people going on pilgrimage henceforth should prepare themselves that they will interface with international people and impact our Nigerian values on the world, not seeking to stay in any nation, no Nigerian should seek to disappear into any other nation for any reason, all pilgrims should go with the intention of impacting the world and secondly if there is any other thing to learn from other countries, leans them and replicate them in Nigeria and make Nigeria better”, Reverend Uja stated.
Furthermore, the NCPC Boss said “this is the best pilgrimage exercise we have had since I came into NCPC, it has been well organized and very well managed, also, our programs are perfectly out in place, the pilgrims are very excited, even the service providers and other stakeholders are all excited, we have had success in beating down abscondment, we have also increased the strength of both the spiritual and the developmental, giving attention to prayer for Nigeria and also including the acts of development especially in agriculture and technology that we are looking out for and everybody has come back happy, there is no accident of any kind, there is no death of any pilgrim.
“We are happy to see our people back, because this is the time to develop Nigeria, this is the time to invest in Nigeria and we look forward to a nation’s that is not only strong, but a nation that stands tall among other nations of the world, we believe that Christian pilgrimage is a strong instrument for international diplomacy that we are dealing with nations whom we are going to learn something from and also nations we are going to impact with Nigeria brand of excellence.
“In many areas we have the excellence that no nation in the world has, at the spiritual level, Nigeria has the excellence that no nation in the world has, our prayer capacity is beyond the whole world put together can summon, we are a leading nation is spiritual dimension and we are proving now that we are a leading nation in organization, Nigeria is the only nation with organized, systematic, well-programmed pilgrimage that is continuous and consistent.
“So, in many ways, we have things to share with the world and we know that in the next stage we are going to explore ways of influencing the world with some of our food, culture, our costumes, even our evolving productions, we are glad that we have come to this stage, the next stage of pilgrimage will not just be elementary visit, it will be impacting the nations that we are working with and to show the strength of Nigeria”.
On visa delay, Reverend Uja said they NCPC would continue to meeting with the Israeli to ensure that visas of intending pilgrims arrive at least one week before departure.
“We will still hold meetings with Israel, but I think also this time around, the visa regime has been a lot more friendly because before, the visas will arrive when we are at the airport, but now we have it several days before the flight date. We will still meet with them to see if we can have visas at least a week or two before the departure but this always entails engagement, Nigeria is the only nation that has this number of pilgrims that are travelling at the same time, so it is also a challenge to Israel, they have to also work overnight, but we will also do local development so that the lists from the states and from the other stakeholders arrive earlier than they have been doing so that we can get the visas ready at least a week before the flight date”, he stated.