Nasarawa State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board (NCPWB) has organised a one-day orientation exercise for 257 intending pilgrims from the state to Kingdom of Jordan.
Mr David Ayewa, Executive Secretary, NCPWB, told newsmen after the orientation exercise held in Lafia on Friday that it was an essential exercise aimed at sensitising pilgrims on the appropriate behavior and actions during the Holy exercise.
“The importance of this orientation exercise is for us to educate them about the country they are going to, their security; the country’s norms and what they are expected to do on the pilgrimage.
“We also sensitise them on the sites they will visit and worship and even the meals they will eat. In fact we spoke about every detail that will make the spiritual exercise a hitch-free and successful one,’’ he said.
He explained that the choice of Jordan was due to the refusal of Israel to allow pilgrimage in its territory due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Jordan, however, accepted the exercise because it appears they have a way of controlling it. That is why this particular spiritual exercise is taking place in Jordan,’’ he said.
The NCPWB Executive Secretary, who revealed that the exercise would be conducted for nine days starting from July 26, said that the intending pilgrims were also informed of the various COVID-19 tests that would be carried out before and after the exercise.
He said that the intending pilgrims were advised to carry out every test for easy passage to Jordan and adhere strictly to every other directive given them including being security conscious at all times so as to ensure a successful exercise.
“This year’s pilgrimage is very peculiar because of the issue of COVID-19 pandemic which the Federal Government is working round the clock to ensure that nobody brings in the virus or carry out the virus.
“So we told them that we have four different locations for the test. One of the locations is in Nasarawa State,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Rev. Amini Zeigi, Team Leader of the Nasarawa State Christian Pilgrimage delegation said that intending pilgrims should not be discouraged as there were pilgrimage sites in Jordan to also explore.
He said that as a team leader, he would do his best to make sure all pilgrims under his watch behave properly throughout the exercise and also achieve the purpose for the spiritual exercise.
“Our governor is making us proud in this country and beyond and the least we can do is to also make him proud.
“We can only do that by our conduct. So personal conduct is one of the issues we harped on.
“We are traveling to the Kingdom of Jordan, we must conduct ourselves very well to attract respect. If we go and get involved in attitude that is wrong, the governor would be ashamed,’’ he said.
Mrs Mercy Musa, one of the intending pilgrims, said that the orientation had opened their eyes to the right things to do, to perform a hitch-free pilgrimage exercise.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that during the orientation exercise, officials of Department of State Security (DSS), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), among others, sensitised the intending pilgrims on a hitch-free spiritual exercise.