The measures implemented by the Christian pilgrimage authorities aimed at preventing incidents of pilgrims absconding from holy lands are beginning to yield positive results.
The Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission, NCPC, Rev. Yakubu Pam who made this known at a briefing in Lagos said an evidence of this is the return of all the participants in last christian pilgrimage exercise without any incident of absconding.
Rev. Pam who commended the pilgrims for being worthy ambassadors of the country by conducting themselves decently and returning home at the end of the exercise, promised that the commission would not relent until the problem is completely eradicated.
He said since the last decade absconing from holy lands had been a major challenge of the commission.
He explained that in line with measures to tackle the menace that has brought the nation bad name, the age of participation in prilgrimage was pegged at 40 , just as preference is being given to married people who have families at home.
According to him, married people that are below 40 years old, are subjected to stiff screening, to be sure that they will return home after the Holy excercise.
Reverend Pam who assured Nigerians that the commission was doing everything possible to ensure that Nigerian Pilgrims are accorded First Class treatment like their counterparts from America and other reputable countries, noted that more Holy sites were also being explored, to make the exercise more exciting and fufilling for participants.
Reverend Pam who doubles as the Chairman Christian Association of Nigerian North , commended the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu for doing a good in sponsoring candidates to the Holy Land.
While also listing Enugu and Imo as among states in the south that have been making impressive efforts at supporting pilgrims, Reverend Pam , hoped that not less than ten thousand people would participate in next Christian pilgrimage by February,2022.
He said the pilgrims would be taken to Israel, Rome and Jordan where over 70 Holy sites have been discovered including River Jordan where Jesus was Baptized and the place where Prophet Elijah was taken up to heaven alive, according to the Holy Bible.
Reverend Pam who appealed to Nigerians to try and coexist peacefully with one another, said the commission has been meeting with stakeholders towards peace building in Lagos, during the ENDSARS protests as well as other parts of the country namely Southern Kaduna, Benue , Plateau among others.
He stated that a recommendation has also been sent to President Mohamadu Buhari on the need to hold a special session with the youths, during which young people can make their inputs towards nation building.