By Jessica Dogo
Abuja – The Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) says it will launch its first ever Christian Pilgrimage to Israel from Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano State, with 130 pilgrims.
A statement on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr Celestine Ogugua, the commission’s Head of Media, said the event was scheduled for May 18, at Kano International Airport.
The statement quoted the Executive Secretary, NCPC, Rev. Tor Uja, who will inaugurate the pilgrimage, as earlier explaining that all the 130 intending Christian pilgrims to be transported from Kano were from Borno.
Uja commended the Governor of Borno, Alhaji Kashim Shettima for his support to Christians in the state, adding “this was to heal a people that unnecessary war had ravaged’’.
He also praised the governor for remaining focused, committed and purposeful despite the years of security challenges in the state and that the North East in general had gone through.
The NCPC boss prayed that God should bring the crisis in the region to an end.
Ogugua said in the statement that intending pilgrims from FCT, Kano, Niger, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Enugu and Gombe States would be flown from Abuja Airport, to join the Borno contingent in Kano for onward departure to Israel.
He said that the commission planned to have about four flights for the ongoing Easter pilgrimage to Israel, which also includes one Rome bound flight.
According to him, 1000 pilgrims would be airlifted to Israel for the Easter pilgrimage exercise and 200 of them would visit Rome before proceeding to Israel to continue their pilgrimage exercise.
Ogugua said that the commission would not compromise on the welfare of the pilgrims as the commission in collaboration with the ground handlers in Israel had made arrangements for their stay.
The commission formally commenced the airlift of intending Christian pilgrims for the Easter pilgrimage on May 9 at the Lagos International Airport and the contingent are expected back in Nigeria on May 18.