Posted by News Express | 29 August 2013 | 3,005 times
The Delta State Government is to collaborate with the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) to airlift pilgrims from the Asaba International Airport to the holy lands.
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan stated this yesterday in Warri when a team of the NCPC led by its Executive Secretary, Revd. John Kennedy Opara, paid him a courtesy visit. The governor described the use of Asaba International Airport to airlift pilgrims as a welcome development, assuring that his administration would work with the NCPC to ensure that there are no hitches in the airlifting of the pilgrims. He also made a case for neigbouring states should to be allowed to make use of the airport to travel on pilgrimages.
Uduaghan said it is on record that pilgrims from Delta State to the different holy lands do not abscond but use such trips for spiritual and moral reasons.
He disclosed that his administration has mapped out programmes to ensure that pilgrims from the state do not embark on the trips for only spiritual and moral reasons, but also to find time to study the agriculture programme of places like Israel during pilgrimage.
“We have introduced a system where Deltans are allowed to study the nature of agriculture of the people of Israel while on pilgrimage, so, it is not only for spiritual benefit,” he stated noting that Nigeria has more fertile land than Israel but the agriculture sector of that country was thriving more.
The governor used the occasion to challenge the NCPC to have a laid-down procedure for intending pilgrims who wished to sponsor themselves to do so with ease, assuring that the state government would meet up with its quota of sending 1,500 pilgrims to the holy land this year.
“For us in Delta State, we take the issue of pilgrimage very serious and we commend your efforts in encouraging Nigerians to go on pilgrimage because, there is a lot of benefits in going on pilgrimage,” Dr. Uduaghan said.
Earlier, Revd. Opara, who was accompanied by NCPC Commissioners, lauded Governor Uduaghan for the massive development being witnessed in Delta State. He said that Governor Uduaghan has a great vision for the state, adding: “I believe that you coming to Delta State as a Governor is divine.”
Revd. Opara disclosed that 1,500 slots have been allocated to Delta State for the next pilgrimage, stating that plans were on for the pilgrims to be airlifted from the Asaba International Airport.
He said it is important for Nigerians to go on pilgrimage because of the spiritual and moral benefits of having such trips, explaining that families are now encouraged to go on pilgrimage together because a lot of benefits are derivable when families pray together.
•Photo by Bripin Enarusai shows Governor Uduagahn (left) exchanging pleasantries with Pastor Okpara . . . yesterday in Warri.
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