By Emmanuel Acha
Enugu – Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has urged the 77 Christian intending pilgrims from the state to pray for the peace and progress of Nigeria while in the Holy Land.
Addressing the contingent on Friday at Enugu, Ugwuanyi said that their prayers were most needed as the country strive to get out of the current economic recession.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Gabriel Ajah, said that government had given the pilgrims the needed support.
“We urge you to be of good behaviour while in the Holy Land and we will not want any of you to abscond. Go in peace and come back happily,” he said.
Responding, the Chairman, Enugu State Christian Pilgrims Board, Rev. Fr. John Nwafor, thanked the government for making the pilgrimage possible in spite of the current economic uncertainties.
Nwafor said that without the facilitation by the state government the exercise would not have been possible and assured that no pilgrim will abscond.
“For the past years, we have not had the history of our pilgrims absconding and it will not start now. We will be responsible while in the Holy Land.
“The state and Nigeria at large will experience the effect of our prayers in 2017,” he said.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Executive Secretary of the Board, Pastor Christian Onah, said that the 77 were selected after thorough scrutiny of the 160 applications received by the board.
The intending pilgrims will be airlifted from the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu on Friday.