By Bridget Ikyado
Nazareth (Israel), March, 29, 2023
Rev. Yakubu Pam, Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), on Tuesday praised the 9th batch of the 2022 pilgrims for exhibiting good conduct.
Pam gave the commendation at the conferment of Jerusalem Pilgrimage and the award of certificates ceremony to the pilgrims.
The Executive-Secretary, represented by Mr Charles Wali, Director Administration and Finance of NCPC, said safety of pilgrims was paramount than every other thing.
“We will make sure that the wellbeing of our country’s pilgrims is paramount and secured,“ he said.
He said the issues about pilgrims’ health and environment would not be taken for granted, adding that their safety was of paramount interest.
“The light we have seen here, let us take it home and let it shine in all our undertakings.
“The change we deserve in Nigeria begins with you and me” he advised.
He reiterated that errors that occurred during the pilgrimage would be corrected before their departure and appealed to them to endure whatever might have gone wrong.
Also speaking, Rev. Shiktuun Koppah, Executive Secretary of Plateau Pilgrims Welfare Board, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for the exercise.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has contributed immensely to the growth of Christian faith with the pilgrimage.
He also thanked Christians who invested in “the kingdom business’ through self-sponsorship to the pilgrimage.
Koppah praised the governors of Plateau and Kaduna States for sponsoring to pilgrims in spite of the economic challenges confronting their states.
Mr Joseph Tabar, President of Tabar Tours, thanked all the participants for their good conduct while in Israel.
“It is the wish of Christians to visit the Holy sites and we thank God for making yours possible.
“It is a great honour to follow Christ and to live the life of Christ for people to emulate,” he said.
For her part, Ms Shadia Srour, General Manager of Tabar Tours also commended Nigerian pilgrims over good behavior in the place.
“Nigerians are great people, humble people, unique, great believers and lovers of Christ,” she said.
She said the organisation caters to the welfare and spiritual expectations of pilgrims and prepare logistics, which was very important.
She, however, said the organisation had partnered Nigeria since past 20years.
Hon. Benjamin Zoyong, Plateau Commissioner for Science and Technology, thanked the pilgrims and prayed for continuous unity among Christians.
He appealed to the pilgrims to continue with the good way they have started in the Holy Land.
The President, Plateau Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Blessing Dalyop, called for intense prayers for Nigeria.
She urged the pilgrims to always behave as they would not be spared if they committed any infraction in the Holy Land.
Some of the pilgrim, who spoke to NAN on the sideline of the award ceremony, described their experiences as historical and life changing.
They said the exercise was spiritually uplifting and created more avenues for love, unity and reconciliation with God and man.
A cleric, George Oaya, said his faith has been deepened and his life transformed.
“As the Chairman, 19 Northern States Pentecostal Youth Wing of Nigeria, I will ensure our youths experience this and this will be a way to transform them.
Another pilgrim, Ven. Ikechukwu Christian, said the pilgrimage has deepened his faith.
Evangelist Helen Diamond thanked God for the privileged of being part of the spiritual exercise and described it as an opportunity to make one’s spiritual path to be straight.
She said she was going to impact on others through evangelism.
Mr Peter Albarka , a civil servant, said the exercise had helped him to make peace with Christ.
“The (bad) things I did before I will do them no more. I will be focused on the truth and live an exemplary life,“ he said.
Also Prophetess Olayemi Owolabi said the visit has improved her life and now ready to live by the word of God.
She called for more enlightenment of intending pilgrims as some of them still did not understand the essence of the visit.
A Civil Servant, Mr Audu Richard, said he had already had manifestations and testimonies as he prayed at various sites in the Holy Land.
He commended the Israeli and Jordanian governments for preserving their cultural heritages which had kept them outstanding in the world.
He urged the Nigerian government to emulate the two countries by creating tourist sites that would generate more revenues and promote bilateral ties with other nations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that state executives of NCPC of Plateau and Kaduna, some traditional rulers, clerics and Christian faithful were on the pilgrimage
A 67-year-old pilgrim, Mr Joseph Pam, who hailed from Plateau, slumped and died in the Holy Land. (NAN)